Branding Shameless Guide
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Branding Shameless Guide

Insights & Action Steps For Creative Brand Creation.
0.0 (0 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
1 student enrolled
Created by Ricky Richards
Last updated 6/2016
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  • 43 mins on-demand video
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What Will I Learn?
  • Create £12,000 in revenue generated from minimal upkeep assets, so that you can, if you choose, leave full time work and put 100% into what really inspires and motivates you every day.
  • Create a minimum of 1000+ passionate followers that will help you to amplify your message and revenue potential.
  • Establish yourself as a leader in your chosen field by taking steps towards the goals in life that create disproportionate returns on investment.
  • Create a brand that will give you enough leverage, to open doors in all areas of life, and help you to life on your own terms.
View Curriculum
  • The course covers the principles but it will require you take action. Participants should be prepared to work in their spare time on implementing the action steps.
  • If you have a website (ideally squarespace) that will be a great place to implement a lot of the strategies we talk about throughout the course.
  • Sign up to the incumbent social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram etc.
  • Also be sure to have a pen and paper ready so that you can fulfil the action steps.

The reason I put this course together, is because It occurred to me, that while we all work hard to get results for clients every day, in the process we often neglect our personal brands. 

The underlying structure for this course is a a plan I’ve created for myself, that has been well researched and tested. It’s predominantly an amalgamation of the hundreds of books I’ve read in the last few years, combined with all the insights and experiences I’ve noticed while working in the design and advertising industry.

As I’m aiming this at creative professionals, I’m not going to teach you to suck eggs, and bore you with the basics of why personal branding is good for your prospects. Instead, I’ve condensed everything down into a clear set of theories, case studies and action steps that anyone can take, that if followed, in time, will help them to reach these four, very specific goals.

Number 1. Create £12,000 in revenue generated from minimal upkeep assets, so that you can, if you choose, leave full time work and put 100% into what really inspires and motivates you every day.

Number 2. Create a minimum of 1000+ passionate followers that will help you to amplify your message and revenue potential.

Number 3. Establish yourself as a leader in your chosen field by taking steps towards the goals in life that create disproportionate returns on investment.

Number 4. Create a brand that will give you enough leverage, to open doors in all areas of life, and help you to life on your own terms.

Who is the target audience?
  • Anyone who is interested in better understanding the principles behind personal brand success.
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Curriculum For This Course
25 Steps To Brand Mastery
26 Lectures 42:32

Hello everyone. Hope you’re well. My name is Ricky Richards, And welcome to my course on branding.

To give you some information about me. I’ve been a designer since before I can remember. I grew up on Barny’s Magic Art Box and Art Attack, and ever since then, all i’ve ever wanted to do is create. I studied design before moving to London just over three years ago, without a bean to my name I hustled my way into some of the worlds leading design and advertising agencies here in London, where I’ve worked on everything from branding, ideation, design, advertising, copy, marketing, video production, basically the full gamete of creative services for numerous fortune 500 companies.

The reason I put this course together, is because It occurred to me, that while we all work hard to get results for clients every day, in the process we often neglect our personal brands. 

The underlying structure for this course is a a plan I’ve created for myself, that has been well researched and tested. It’s predominantly an amalgamation of the hundreds of books I’ve read in the last few years, combined with all the insights and experiences I’ve noticed while working in the design and advertising industry.

As I’m aiming this at creative professionals, I’m not going to teach you to suck eggs, and bore you with the basics of why personal branding is good for your prospects. Instead, I’ve condensed everything down into a clear set of theories, case studies and action steps that anyone can take, that if followed, in time, will help them to reach these four, very specific goals.

Number 1. Create £12,000 in revenue generated from minimal upkeep assets, so that you can, if you choose, leave full time work and put 100% into what really inspires and motivates you every day.

Number 2. Create a minimum of 1000+ passionate followers that will help you to amplify your message and revenue potential.

Number 3. Establish yourself as a leader in your chosen field by taking steps towards the goals in life that create disproportionate returns on investment.

Number 4. Create a brand that will give you enough leverage, to open doors in all areas of life, and help you to life on your own terms.

Lastly, this course isn’t promising to make you a millionaire, but what I am promising, is I will teach you the basic theories and actions that the biggest and best brands and personal brand owners know and do ever day to create freedom and wealth for themselves and their businesses.

Preview 02:14

Section 1: Recap Of The Goals

  1. Lay the foundation for a reoccurring revenue of £12K+ over 3 years I’ve put 12K as the target for this goal, because it’s small enough that it’s attainable so you don’t get discouraged, but it’s also enough that if you budgeted, it could cover basic rent and food. Obviously If you’re watching this 3 years after I created it, you may need to push out that target a bit.
  2. Create a minimum following of 1000+ fans that engage The reason we want a minimum of 1000+ people to follow our work, is because that has the potential to sustain you financially. As an example. If you can sell a £30 product to, 1000 people a year, you don’t need a day job, and that will give you the time to put more into your brand.
  3. Establish yourself as a leader in your field. All of the activities you’ll need to take part in to reach the goals will require that you step outside your comfort zone and start putting yourself at the forefront of your industry, which over time, will begin to establish you as a leader in your field.
  4. Create leverage in all areas of your life through branding. Again, if all the above goals come to fruition then you should have no problems leveraging your brand to amplify your impact and revue potential in all aspects of your life.
Preview 01:33

Section 2: Making Money From Your Passion. 

Passion is the fire that fuels creation. Without passion, it’s unlikely that you’ll get up every morning and throw all you’ve got into making whatever it is you want to create. And that includes your brand.

Most people wrongly assume that their passions, which I define as the things you do for free in your own time, don’t have the potential for creating a sustainable business. While this may have been true not so long ago, nowadays the internet has opened up everyone, with even the oddest of passions, to sizeable global communities that they can tap into.

There are examples of successful gamers, cake makers, book reviewers, model makers, you name it. If you know it inside out and love doing it, it’s possible to turn it into a successful business if done the right way.

Case Study: Gary Dahl was a creative copywriter who was born in North Dakota in the 1930’s. He was with a bunch of friends one night when they started complaining about their pets. Gary had an idea for the perfect pet ever, A rock. Around 1975, Gary launched his product, Pet Rock and used his skills in copy writing to market his product, which went on to make him a millionaire. This was a gimmick, but even so, If Gary could make a million pounds selling rocks before the internet. Then there really is no excuses for us, with all the tools of today at our disposal.

Action Step: Write down a list of all your passions, and work out which of these passions has the greatest potential for establishing yourself and starting your business around.

Pursuing Your Passion

Section 3 : Creating A Vision

The next question you need to ask yourself, is what do you want to achieve with your brand? What do you want life to be like if you’re successful? Who would you spend your time interacting with? And what would take up your time day to day?

Hopefully, this is a compelling enough vision that the second you wake up every day, you’re motivated enough to jump out of bed and get to work. If it’s not. I encourage you to dream bigger.

Once you’ve got a strong internal vision, the next step is to share it. While you may want to shy away from sharing your vision, for fear of what people might think, a shared vision combined with incremental action steps towards living your vision, is a powerful combination. 

The reason being, is when we approach people we wish to work or collaborate with, we make assumptions based on the information we have access to prior to meeting. Nowadays, first impressions are not limited to just face-to-face encounters, but also to our web presence and reputation.

These interactions, unlike in person encounters, can be somewhat crafted. And if you make the effort to use every opportunity to convey your vision, whether your living it yet or not, then you’re more likely to attract the kinds of opportunities you need to reach your goal.

Case Study: In 1919, Jack Cohen opened a market stall in North London selling groceries. On his first day, he reportedly made £1 in profit. 5 years later, Jack bought a shipment of Tea from a man by the name of T. E Stockwell. Jack decided to re brand his business, combining the initials of Mr Stockwell’s name, with those of his own to form TESCO. Mr Cohen had a simple vision, if he could buy food in large enough quantities, he could drive down prises, and help people by making his products more affordable. Tesco’s may not always been the nations favourite. But you can’t knock them for sticking to their vision.

***Action Step: Write down exactly what life would be like if you achieved your goal. Describe it in great detail. What you’d spend your time doing, where would you live, who would you work with etc.

Creating A Vision

Section 4: Identifying Competitors

Just because your brand is personal to you, that doesn’t mean it’s not in competition with anyone else. Even if you’re at the highest level of what you do, there will, without doubt be other people in tangent businesses that are vying for the same attention.

Case Study: Over one hundred thousand students graduate from UK universities every year with mountains of debt and into a tremendously competitive jobs market. In 2005, 21 year old Alex Tew was no exception, about to embark on a three year business management course at Nottingham university, he was worried about the number of years it would take him to replay his debt. So, as a way to make money Alex came up the idea to create a webpage, made of a million pixels, that he could sell for $1 each. The idea initially spread by Alex convincing his friends and family to buy the first few pixels, by the time he’d sold 1000 pixels the site started to get attention on big news platforms and the site sky rocketed. 5 months later, Alex ebayed off the final pixel for $38,000, gaining him over a million dollars in sales. As you can imagine, Alex had no problems paying his loan or getting a job after that.

Action Step: To establish a good personal brand, you should take the time to Make a list of anyone who is doing similar things to which you want to achieve. Write them down in an order starting with those most like that which you want to emulate, to those furthest away. Also write down any parallel industries, that are competing for the same money, or attention that you will be looking to tap into.

Identifying Competitors

Section 5: What’s Your USP

Whether other people are doing exactly what you want to do or not, you should still work out what your unique selling proposition is going to be. You need to be able to explain to people why they should spend their valuable time listening or working with you over anyone else? The more specific the answer to this question, the better! The more specific the part of the market you’re trying to own, the easier it will be for you to make a name for yourself in that area, and the more targeted your audience will become.

Case Study: Salavat Fidai is a Russian Born sculpture, who creates his work entirely from the lead of pencils. Salavat’s miniature sculptures have gained him worldwide attention and an endless backlog of customers. Salavat is one of only a handful of people who creates thins kind of artwork, and he is the best. because if this, he is able to turn ordinary pencils into works of art that he sells on his site for £300 a piece. 

Action Step: Answer the question: What can you do that know one else can? And why will people care?

Finding Your USP

Section 6: Establishing Your Values

Unlike your USP, values are a much deeper way of guiding your path. They’re often not expressed but still no less important as they often become much more compelling to people than your USP. Being able to define what your values are gives you a much clearer roadmap for life. 

Case Study: Casey Neistat: is a film maker from New York who isn’t precious around technology, he mentions in various videos that he sees technology as a tool, and should therefore, be used like one and be expected to perform under real life conditions. Not being precious, is not Casey’s USP, but it is one of his values and it does factor into his life choices. In 2003, Casey was relatively unknown, until he made a video titled iPod's Dirty Secret with his brother Van, where his video sees Casey speaking to an apple employee who tells Casey, he’d have to pay over $200 to have the battery replaced. Video went on to receive over 3 million hits on the platform, and was a pivotal video in launching casey’s solar career.

Action Step: Try writing down a list of all your prominent values, and have a think as to how those values may play a role in pursuing and prioritising opportunities moving forward.

Establishing Your Values

Section 7: Finding Your Audience

Finding Your Audience If you’re going to make your vision a reality, you need to know who your customers are. The question here is not, who can you tell about your serivce in the hope they buy from you, but instead, who is in search of what you have to sell? where do they live? What is their background? How much money do they have? etc. You need to create a profile of your customer

The vast majority of a brands value comes by building positive relationships and associations to a particular subset of society. If you really have chosen to pursue a path based on one of your passions, then you shouldn’t have much trouble identifying where your audience hangs out on and off line. If you’re able to identify people who are doing something similar to what you are trying to achieve then a good place to start would be looking at the kinds of people who follow them.

Case Study: Nicole Smith was working as a marketing manager at Microsoft when in 2011 she when on a trip to meet her best friend Erika in Paris. While walking around she was disappointed with the selfies and blurry pics taken by strangers so she asked a mutual friend if they would be kind enough to follow them round the city taking authentic photos of them enjoying their time together. Nicole soon realised that these were exceptional photos. Upon returning home, Nicole identified a gap in the market for vacation photography. Recognising the trend of travellers seeking authentic local experiences. In 2013 Nicole launched Flytographer which has since grown to offer travel photographers in over 175 destinations around the world. 

Action Step: Take some time to look for people who are interacting at the various places where your audience currently resides and begin to piece together a customer profile to help you refine you better understand your potential customer’s needs and wants. 

Finding Your Audience

Section 8: Platform Alliance

Working Out The Correct Platforms Too many people dedicate disproportionate amounts of time to social networks where their target demographic doesn’t reside. When it comes to building an initial following it is less about the number of followers you have and more about the quality of the connections you build with those individuals. The seemingly slow start will soon be rewarded when the engagement and loyalty of your small fan base helps you to share and grow your brand.

Where are the people you’re targeting spending their time? Is there a way that you can capture your audience on that platform? Everyone has a unique message, and a unique strategy should therefore be formulated based on your goals and value proposition.

Case Study: 34 year old Rob Percival from Cambridge England had spent 10 years teaching maths and programming when In 2014 he decided to creating an in person coding class for kids. However, after being shown an online educational site, Rob instead, decided to create the course entirely in video and post it on the new course sharing site Udemy. Rob posted his first online web development course for $199 in June of 2014, he only made one sale in the first 24 hours. However, after reaching out to his own client base Rob managed to make roughly £15,000 in sales. Which quickly snowballed as he added additional courses. Rob’s courses have now been taken by over 150,000 people and Rob has become a millionaire for his efforts.

Action Step: Research and identify the top 3 lesser well known social networks for your industry and give them a go to see if they offer more value to your audience, than the better known incumbent platforms.

Preview 01:42

Section 9: Touch Points

Identify all the key touch points where potential customers are likely to come into contact with your brand, so that you can start establishing yourself and create a consistent message across all the various touch points 

Case Study: In 2009, when I had just started University. A friend of mine introduced me to a platform called Behance. Behance was three years old, and still in its infancy as a platform. I started using the site and realised it had some potential. As a student, I knew I needed a way to differentiate myself, so I had been trying to get freelance work to very little avail. I began looking at Behance’s ranking systems and I realised that the higher people were on the ranking system, the more likely you were to be approached by clients. I also realised that at the time that if you refreshed your internet settings, it was possible to ‘appreciate’ your own work. While sat in three long lectures, I would be refreshing my DNS settings so that I could go onto my projects and appreciate my own work. I even created a guide for all of my classmates so they could do the same. Virtually no one bothered to take my advice, except one girl, who’s work got magazine coverage as a result of the hack. Less than a month after I started gaming Behance, I changed my location to London, even though I was based in Worcester at the time, and I appeared on the first page of London creatives. Even though my work was terrible at the time The work started to roll in. And I got better and better as a result. I identified where the touchpoint was with my customers. and I made sure I was seen. I later uploaded the document on the platform itself, and hundreds of people liked it, and i later got a message from the founder Scott Belsky, thanking me for identifying the loopholes in the system and Behance went on to make changes so it could no longer be gamed.

Action Step: Identify, some lesser well places where your customers and audience are likely to find you and start taking action towards being present in those places. Create all the assets you’re going to need to establish a consistent image and message across all your touch points.

Touch Points

Section 10: Modelling

Modelling Modeling, is where you look at people who are successful at what you’re trying to do, and you study what is that they have done to make themselves successful, and then you take the best parts of what they have done, and you work that into your own strategy. 

Case Study: Oliver & Marc Samwer are two brothers from Germany who after selling their first company to ebay in 1999, have subsequently gone on to become billionaires, They’ve modeled on other peoples success, to a shameless degree and proven that following a tried and tested path, can still be successful in your own right.

Action Step: Make a list of the 5 most successful people doing something similar to what you aim to do, and write down the 5 things that each is doing that is contributing to their success.


Section 11: Creating Value

Value One of the first questions you should be asking yourself when creating your brand is what value can you deliver to your audience or customer base?

Many people make the unfortunate mistake of using their personal brand as a way to only shout about themselves. While there are times where this will be necessary. The primary focus should always be about how you can provide value to others.

By doing this, you’re more likely to build trust with your audience, and this will make them more inclined to buy your products, as well as forgiving you when you do have to ask for their attention to show them something you’ve created that you think they might find valuable.

Case Study: Pat Flyn was working as a job captain in an architectural firm and in his spare time, he was studying towards an additional qualification in architecture. He decided that a good way to study towards his exam, was to document everything he was learning online on a blog. In 2008 there was a lul in the architectural business and he was let go from his job. As Pat had been working on the course, he had been delving into the world of online revenue streams. He began putting ads online and on his site and started receiving a small but consistent monthly income due to the traffic of his site. Pat later realised an Ebook that helped people to pass the exam that he had taken months studying. The minor success he saw from these projects encouraged him to study online revenue full time and in october of 2008, he launched smart passive income, a site dedicated to helping people create online revenue streams. He captured the moment, and is now earning over $100,000 dollars a month from the projects and affiliate programs he has set up to help other people make additional revenue streams online. By making providing value to others Pat’s first priority, he saw rocket success himself.

Action Step: Write down a list of all the things your audience finds valuable. Work out ways that you can provide high levels of value, while also moving toward your brand vision.

Creating Value

Section 12: Engagement

Engagement: If you want to build trust with your audience, you need to engage with them directly. To do this, you need to know where they spend their time and you also need to know which platforms get the best results. Otherwise known, as the attention graph.

The attention graph, doesn’t have to be online, but it definitely seems to be the prominent place where captive attention is in abundance if done right.

Wherever the attention of your audience is, you need to not only have a presence, buy you should also be putting in the work to make sure that you’re building grass roots relationships with the people you’re targeting. Getting involved in the conversation, and offering advice where helpful.

Case Study: In 2012 Jeff and Ryan two friends, met on Semester at Sea on a study abroad program that circles the globe by ship. While traveling, they began exploring markets and collecting fabric from countries in Africa, Asia, and Central America.They wanted to use the fabrics to make positive change in the world. So with zero fashion experience, they used the last last bit of money they had to started cutting, sewing, and shipping pocket tees from their dorm room. They gave back 10% of their profits to a diverse range of online causes, and started engaging on various platforms to share their story with people who cared about giving back to impoverished comunities. Before long the brand started to see traction. And they now have over half a million followers across their their online platforms, in which to sell product, and a make a positive change in the world.

Action Step: Ask yourself

number 1. which of the platforms where my audience hangs out and are you likely to get the highest levels of engagement?

Number 2. How likely are your posts to be seen? for example, much higher likelihood of your content being seen on Instagram than there is on twitter for example. 

Number 3: Is the platform the right platform for your content? Don’t try and crowbar in dry ads on snapchat for example, it wont work.

After identifying the top three platforms where your audience resides, allocate a good chunk of time to engage with that audience daily.

Preview 02:01

Section 13: Move First

When it comes to social media, being the first on a platform comes with significant rewards. If you invest time into a platform before it takes off and then it does, you’re invariably in a better position to capitalise on that growing attention. This is always a risk, if the platform doesn’t take off then you may have wasted a significant amount of time. Nevertheless, the rewards for being first when a platform takes off normally far outweigh the downside. It should therefore be your responsibility to identify new platforms and opportunities for sharing your brand and to maintain a sustained strategy on those platforms despite the lack of significant numbers.

Also, try reaching out to the founders or community managers of the platforms. Founders are often looking for people to help them champion their product and spread the word about their platform. If they can see that you’re keen they will likely be prepared to support you on the platform in return for your valuable input which will only give you more momentum if the platform takes off.

Case Study: I started using Anchor, just over a month ago because I’m a big podcast listener it appealed to me. I’ve built up a minor relationship with the community Manager Kristin Myers, and so far I’ve got just over 50 followers by recording 1, two minute recording as i’m walking round doing my thing everyday. It might not be worth much to me now, but by the time most people decide to join the platform I may have a following of 500, and they might think I’m a thought leader and follow me out of curiosity, all because I started when it wasn’t a sure thing. And i’m cool with that, if it fails, I move on. But if it win’s, I get the disproportionate leverage, and I win too.

Action Step: Identify 5 platforms where you could see people spending their time in your niche, and give them all a try. Work out which ones you feel you could contribute to most, and make it a habit to go all in on that platform for the forceable future.

Preview 02:05

Section 14: Recall

If all you do on social media is post pictures of your food and you on holiday, then unless you do that, very very well and can establish yourself as a lifestyle blogger, which is very few people. Then it doesn’t provide much value to you at all.

However, if you occasionally post what you do for a living, preferably in visually intriguing or with a description that makes it interesting, then what you’re actually doing, is just offering everyone that follows you a slight reminder of what you do, which, in time, could manifest into you getting a huge opportunity from a friend or stranger, who had completely forgotten what you do until they saw that really interesting video or picture you put up online.

Case Study: Jonathan Mak was a second-year communication design student at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. In 2012 he posted an image featuring Steve Jobs head in the side of the the Apple logo commemorating his death. The image went viral.

Graham Fink, the chief creative officer of Ogilvy China, was on vacation in London when he noticed the visual tribute in the newspaper.

Graham, who was interested in harbouring fresh talent, had his assistant phone all the collages in Hong Kong looking for Jonathan. Graham then flew back to Hong Kong to meet Jonathan, and also gave him the simple before of visually depicting sharing a coke.

The Coke hands poster that Jonathan created went on to win a Grad Prix at Cannes, arguably the highest creative attainment in advertising.

Action Step: What do you create that you don’t share with others? Make an effort to turn your work into compelling and inspiring imagery that you can share with people online.

Preview 02:02

Section 15: Life Time Value Funnel

Life Time Value / Funnel Life time value refers to the predicted amount of profit you can expect to make from a customer on average, over the lifetime of them interacting with your brand. This is an essential component of any business owner to know, as it helps you to decide how much you should allocate to your customer acquisition strategy.

Case Study: Netflix is a subscription site that charges roughly £5 per month per user. I don’t know the exact figure but lets say Netflix knows that on average a person will stay on the platform for roughly two years. 

This means the life time value of a customer is £120. Now that Netflix know this figure they know how much money they need to acquire a new customer. Assuming they want to make a minimum of £80 in profit over the duration of time anyone is on the platform, they have £40 per person, that can be spent on marketing and advertising to get us onto the site. 

This is known as your funnel, because it normally means getting the attention of lots of qualified leads, and then whittling them down to a few, who will then become paid customers. Like a funnel.

Action Step: Work out what products you intend to sell and firstly make sure that you’re trying to sell something that your audiences wants and can afford. Then work out roughly how much it’s going to cost to acquire a customer, and set your price over that point to assure profit.

Life Time Value

Section 16: Cross Pollination

One of the very best ways to amplify your reach and to meet new customers, is to tap into pre existing customer basis where you can add value to their customers or audience. By identifying several people at various levels of influence, you can start to reach out to the kinds of people you want to talk to and suggest reasons why you think you think it would be a good for you to collaborate. The likelihood of you getting many yeses at first is slim, but keep sending emails and making calls until eventually you get a few little breaks.

When you get an opportunity, make sure you go into those opportunities with high levels of passion, enthusiasm and interesting ideas, so that the next time you want to reach out to an influential person, who’s audience you want to provide value for, you can point to the things you’ve done before.

Case Study: Little over a week ago I watched a video with two entrepreneurs Graham and Mark who had set out to change the way we consume startup content. they were tired of the old way of blogging and they wanted to try something different. The Startup Van was born, a van that travels round the country, interviewing entrepreneurs and sharing their content online. To help them amplify their message, they reached out to Gary Vaynerchuck, one of the worlds leading marketers and businessmen, who agreed to do an interview on their show. After a brief 5 minute catch up in the back of their van, Gary did a call out to his audience of many millions, to reach out to Graham and Mark to appear on their show. By pestering Gary a couple of times, they were able to create a backlog of interviews and demand for their van for the forceable future.

Action Step: Identify 100 people that have a higher level of influence than you in your niche, and start reaching out with ideas for collaboration.

Cross Pollination

Section 17: Positioning

Positioning is the strategy of making your personal brand occupy a distinct position, that is different but relative to other brands, in your field. As someone building a personal brand from scratch, you need to identify the white space i.e. where can you position yourself that is different from everyone else, but still of value, and how might that position translate to a product or service you can sell.

Case Study: In 2011 Joshua Fields & Ryan Nicodemus left their corperate jobs at age 30, after releasing their first book, Minimalism, leading a meaningful life. They traveled round the world on an international book tour while writing online about the changes they were making in their life. The two friends carved out a niche, positioning themselves as the most committed minimalist online and went on to build an online audience of over 4 million readers getting global press attention, as well as assuring their financial freedom for a lifetime.

Action Step: Identify where your brand is going to fit in amongst the existing market and make a list of 10 things you can do, to start establishing yourself in that space.


Section 18: Systems

One of the huge differences between big and small companies, is that big companies typically built on top of a system that is designed to scale. Small businesses waste tremendous amounts of time repeating the same processes, over and over again, instead of just creating a system to deal with every eventuality that they face on a day to day basis.

People are put off by systems because from the offset they sound a bit boring. But the truth is if worked into your operations correctly. It can save you huge amounts of time and free you up to do the things that matter or that which you enjoy, instead of the things that make you want to pull your hair out.

Case Study: In 1940, two brothers called Richard & Maurice, opened a BBQ stand in America. From the start they utilised production line techniques so that they could serve more food at lower costs than anyone else. In 1955, 15 years after the brothers had created their business formula, Businessman Ray Kroc joined the company as a franchise agent, and helped the McDonald Brothers to turn their fast food BBQ stand, into one of the most successful franchise businesses of all time.

Action Step: Identify all the areas of your day to day operations that could by systematised, this could be email templates, responses to F&Q’s, outreach documents, pitch decks, etc etc. And create the assets you need to speed up your processes long term.


Section 19: Automation

Automation is a great tool if used correctly. The general rule of automation is that it’s fine to automate anything that doesn’t require human interaction. if you’ve created an abundance of content and you want to use an automation tool to drip feed it out over time to save you allocating an hour a day to post out on every platform, that is fine. As long as you take the time to follow up with any engagement so that your still a personal relationship that builds trust with your audience.

Case Study: Left Foot Coaching Academy as way to merge personal training, fitness and soccer into an awesome experience for children. 

When Christian started the business, he didn’t have a system in place to convert trial members to long-term paying customers and the business was failing. 

Christian later implement a paid trial-to-membership process for his new customers which used a campaigns process to convert leads in his sales pipeline. and three years into business Christian is now making over $1.2 million in sales!

Action Step: Figure out where automation might be able to help you amplify your outreach and then look for the best automation tool to help you achieve your desired outcome.


Section 20: Delegation

If you wish to grow your business you need to double down on what you do best, and in order to do that, you’re going to have get used to delegating tasks to other people. If it’s possible that for you to earn more money doing something else, by paying someone else to do the tasks you wouldn’t be earning money doing, then that is generally worth doing for the long term benefit of the company. 

Most business owners are used to paying an accountant to deal with their finances, and a lawyer to deal with any legal issues. Yet we find ourselves spending hours creating things that could be outsource at a fractional cost, leaving us to do the things that really matter.

Case Study: John Lee Dumas had been working in the US Army for 7 years before returning back to the US and jumping jobs for a few years working corporate jobs, and living, as he puts it, on the hamster wheel . 

In 2012 at the age of 32, after getting through all the latest podcasts in his phone, he decided he would attempt to launch a 7 day podcast. John went on to launch, entrepreneur on Fire, a podcast that interviews entrepreneurs 7 days a week. In order to do this he brought together a remote team of 5 people who help him to book guests, and concentrate on doing what he does best, interviewing inspiring entrepreneurs. 

Thanks to Johns skills at delegation, entrepreneur on fire has delivered consistent, high level content ever since, and he now earns consistently over $200,000 in profit every month.

Action Step: Identify areas of your business that are essential, but that you take up your time, that you don’t enjoy doing, or that could be spent doing more productive tasks you enjoy, and start building a trusted group of people, you can go to to outsource those tasks.


Section 21: Scarcity

Scarcity, comes from the most basic principle in business, supply and demand. It doesn’t matter if only two people want something, if there is only one of the thing they both want, then the chances are they will bid each other up and up to a point that far surpasses the value of the object their bidding for. Conversely, it doesn’t matter if you know a million people, if no one wants what you have to offer, then you don’t make a sale. 

Case Study: In the early 1990s, a young man by the name of Tajiri saw two children playing together with Game Boys using the Game Link Cable, he imagined insects crawling along the cable between the two systems. As he thought about the capabilities of the Game Link Cable, his came up with an idea for a game called, Pocket monsters. 

After 6 years of development Pokémon was released and gradually became a phenomenon among children worldwide. Upon the release of the card game the creators created high levels of scarcity among certain cards in order to inflate the price people were willing to pay for the cards. To this day, true fans to regularly pay over many thousands of pounds to get their hands on rare cards.

Action Step: Make a list of all the ways you can increase demand for your products and services, by implementing scarcity into your business strategy.


Section 22: Lock In Effect

When we make a purchases and it goes well, it makes us far less inclined to change supplier the next time round. The reason for this is people are generally risk adverse, and we don’t like change incase things go wrong, especially if the stakes are high. Your personal brand has the opportunity to offer incredible value to people, and in return they will become loyal to you.

Case Study: When I was growing up in the 90’s I was a PC user, I remember dial up and pop ups and waiting ages for my computer to load, and then having to deal with viruses and virus software. Back then I was hardly even annoyed about it because it was the norm. But then the Mac came out. I remember buying my first white macbook, and all the problems i’d had prior to that day went away. Since then I’ve had very little contact with PC’s, and even though I know they’ve probably come a long way since back then, I‘ve still got these bad memories buried in me and i look at my mac, and I say. This works, I appreciate their design aesthetic, and their operating system is really intuitive. I don’t want to try a PC, what if I spend £1000, and i regret it. I know i wont regret buying a mac. The reason why Apple do so well, is not because they force you to stay with them, it’s because they provide so much value, that their customers lock themselves into their products. 

Action Step: As yourself how you can be so good at what you do that it doesn’t make sense for people to go anywhere else. 

Lock In Effect

Section 23: Stories

Stories Humans are compelled by great stories, and the brands that seem to emerge and grow out of nowhere normally come with a compelling founding story that spreads virally via word of mouth, and helps to catapult the brand.

In 1999 three friends were selling smoothies at a music festival and they asked their initial customers to put their empties in either a bin saying ‘Keep the day job’ Or ‘Give up the day job’ the story goes that their ‘quit the day job’ bucket was overflowing, and that became the start of innocent Smoothies.

In 2006, after traveling through Argentina, and seeing the hardships of children with no shoes, 

Blake Mycoskie started a company espadrilles with the idea to give one pair away, for every pair that was bought. 

The idea took off, and word of mouth helped Tom’s shoes make rapid growth, giving away over 50 million pairs of shoes to date. 

Action Step: What is your story? How can you word it in a way that sounds compelling and memorable? Once created, come up with 5 ways you can get your story out in the world.


Section 24: Assets

Assets are defined as a things that have value. But in life, there are some assets that when accumulated create disproportionate amounts of leverage when compared to others.

On the first tier is assets you create that can only be sold once. For example, Lets say I create a beautiful logo, I’ve sold it to a client so I can’t make money from it again. But I can now approach other clients and say look, I created this, you should pay me to create your logo. 

It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, you should be able to work out how you can package your work, even if it’s just short case studies, or a book of testimonials, so that you can use that to get more work in the future.

The second tier of assets, is assets that once created, can be used multiple times to create revenue, but that still requires your active involvement. Lets say I write a 10 minute talk that can be presented at Universities. Now I’ve created something that I can use multiple times to generate revenue, unlike a logo that can only be used once.

Third tier assets are smaller things that once created, can be used multiple times to generate revenue. This course is a perfect example of a tier three asset. It’s taken me a few hours a day for two weeks to write the content, but now that it’s done. I can continue to refer people to it and it makes me revenue while I sleep.

Tier four assets are similar to tier three assets, except that they are normally bigger projects that involve new ideas, that when packaged people can make money of it themselves. Take for example a franchise business or a product idea, or intellectual property. 

Case Study: In 1973, filmmaker George Lucas set out to make a children’s Saturday morning series, that would be part fairy tale, part Flash Gordon in outer space. The project eventually evolved into a full-length feature entitled Star Wars.

The star wars franchise has an estimated net worth of 10 billion to Disney. This is because Star Wars has so much intellectual property assets. From the voice of Yoda, to lightsabers and unusual characters etc, that it can create countless offshoots from toys and bedroom decor to books and games.

George Lucus doesn’t actually create these things, he simply licences out his intellectual property to toy manufacturers and whoever else wants to leverage the star wars brand and as a result he receives a constant string of income.

To sum up, when choosing how to spend your time. I always encourage people to push toward the higher tier assets, as this has the potential to give you complete freedom of time and money in the long run. 

That being said, you should also consider how much leverage something is going to give you. If an opportunity arrises to do a tier one job that by doing so it would give you huge amounts of credibility that you can use to create opportunity in the future, then you should do that. 

To explain that in more depth, say for example, you’re a dancer and you get offered a Broadway job, that experience will create more long term leverage for you than you creating a video of you teaching students to do a pleat which is a tier two asset. If however, you didn’t teach a pleat but instead you filmed 100 new dance moves that you turned into a fitness franchise well then that might be better. If you danced on Broadway, and then leveraged that to create an interesting story in which to help launch your franchise, well then that would be the best solution.

So you have to weigh up, you need to ask yourself what is going to be a good use of your time, but if you’ve got nothing to do and you’re trying to work out what is best to spend your time doing, concentrate on tier two and above assets, and just keep accumulating them, As these are the things most likely to create leverage and open up doors long term.

Action Step Assets: Look at everything you create day to day, and put them in a list from tier one to tier four And try your best to order projects that have a higher asset value.


Conclusion  - When To Go All In

When we choose to create a brand for ourselves, we’re taking the step to become accountable for what we put out in the world. This isn’t an easy undertaking, and it definitely comes with a number of challenges. 

I hope this course has gone some way to helping you impliment these changes in your own life so that you pursuing the things that you are truly passionate about.

Remember, the world doesn’t reward planners, it rewards action takers. I whole heartedly encourage you to face your fears, and put yourself out in the world. 

Life is a team sport, no one gets to top by themselves, so endevour to help other people every day, surround yourself with positive people. And keep hustling.

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About the Instructor
Ricky Richards
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Business & Brand Strategy

After receiving a degree in design and multimedia, Ricky spent several years honing his craft at London’s leading ad agencies including Wieden + Kennedy, AKQA and Ogilvy where he provided campaigns and award winning ideas for clients such as Nike, Coke, Adidas and Samsung to name a few.

Ricky continues to work in the creative industry, where he experiments on an eclectic mix of creative projects across all areas of visual communication. In recent years Ricky has discovered a visual style that combines his understanding of design aesthetic with considered concepts, minimalism and vivid colour.

He currently works as a creative director and in house film director at Happy Ending Agency A full service creative shop in Shoreditch London, who's mission is to use skills in strategic thinking, idea creation and visual communication, to tell impactful stories, that deliver results for clients.

Ricky also pursues a number of self driven creative and research projects and shares his experiences openly through talks, articles, and a journal posts that he updates when time permits. If you wish to work with Ricky, he is available for creative commissions via his agent.