- How Ian pivoted from employee to freelancer
- Growth hacking social media
- The importance of engaging your audience
- Overcoming the fears holding you back
- Stumbling into success
- The tech needed to start a podcast
- Launching a podcast with a massive guest
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[00:00:00] Welcome back to another episode of the six figure creative podcast. I am your host Brian Hood. And if this is your first time joining us on the show, first of all, welcome. Thank you for listening. This show is all about, I guess, running a more profitable creative business without selling your soul. I guess that's a good way of saying it without selling your soul, staying in integrity, keeping your morals high, your ethics high, and also your bank account high
There's a way to balance all three of those. So that's the gist of the show. And we talk to different people around the world who have specialized or done really well in something. Related to running a profitable creative business. and this is usually in the freelancing world. So if you're not a freelancer, that's okay.
But most of this is catered towards freelancers. So today's episode, uh, we'll get into in a second, who we're interviewing today, what it's all about, but I've gotta update you on what happened last week. if you listen to the show, my wife had a stomach virus. She was laid out for like three or four days.
lot of puking. It was not a good stomach virus. It was one that was like passed down from generation to generation from. The tour life, people down to people and like circles that we know to other people than to my wife. And then to me eventually. if you weren't listening to last week, I have a [00:01:00] 25 plus year, maybe a, almost a 30 year streak of not puking, which is like really weird freakish thing that I'm weirdly proud of.
And I was being tested heavily. So, good news on that front. I, did get the virus, whatever I got from my wife over the weekend. I got through it. I didn't puke. So everyone that got it puked, I didn't get it. I guess I still have the stomach of steel. So that's a wonderful little weird brag that I have that I had to share with you people and for all you new people.
I'm so sorry. I'm so, so sorry. we're not all about vomit here. Matter of fact, this is probably the only time. We've brought up vomit on this show. So there you go. So let's get, let's get into the meat of this episode today, today, we're talking to a wonderful designer based out of the UK named Ian Paget and.
Ian has a cool business called logo geek. I will not give you 20 bucks if you get his niche figured out, meaning I know, you know what it is because it's in the name it's he's logo designer. don't wanna owe a bunch of people 20 bucks, which is why I'm not betting 20 bucks. That Giggi guess is his niche.
He's a logo designer. And, um, he has a podcast called logo geek. He has a Twitter account. He has a Facebook community all around other [00:02:00] logo geeks in the world can kind of fall along with what he's doing. And the reason I wanted bring him on the show is cuz he has so much to share with us.
He is a self admitted geek he calls himself a logo geek. he's not a natural like born speaker. He's not someone who is like a loud and proud gregarious American personality. Unlike some people, and yet he still has a podcast and he did it despite being so utterly terrified of public speaking, that he couldn't even give a toast at a, like a party for friends and, and close relatives without his hands shaking uncontrollably were where, champagne would spill everywhere.
Like that's how bad it was. So he's, he went out of his comfort zone, launched a podcast. It was just an awful experience for him, according to this interview that you're about to hear. And yet it's still white, very successful, it's actually one of the more, popular, podcasts out there when it comes to, uh, the design world.
So the podcast has been huge for his growth as a, not only a freelancer, but just overall his creative business. and I think it's a really interesting story because of a few things. One is he does a really good job of taking something called [00:03:00] imperfect action.
He does not wait for all the green lights in his life before he does something. He does not wait to become the perfect person so that he can finally do the thing that he wants to do. he takes this really like. Good approach. I think a healthy approach towards these areas. He may not be in natural in areas.
He's scared of areas that as creatives, we might usually shy away from to get outside of his comfort zone and he gets disproportionate results because of that, especially compared to other creatives who constantly hide from the things that we're scared enough.
So a few things that we talk about, obviously launching the podcast, the struggles around that, even admit to himself that it's not even the best podcast for his business, because his podcast actually targets other designers. Whereas his design clients are business owners, which is interesting to, but it still works for getting him clients.
Um, but he's got so much going on in his business and, and all these things that he does, all the little pieces of, the world that he has his hands in all go back and feed his main business. And I think he does a great job of, growing the brand that is logo geek and it's all this holistic thing that all works together between his Twitter account with 90,000 followers, his podcast issuing very good, his Facebook group with thousands of followers in it.
And it all started from a guy [00:04:00] who's again, not a naturally outgoing person. Here's the other part about Ian that I think is worth listening to this episode, four, if you're kind of on the fence is he was at this point where his, his business was actually, he he was making good money at a, at an agency working, I guess you called a day job.
And his side gig was logo geek. It was freelancing, but he had this pivotal moment in his life where, things got too busy with the freelancing. So he actually gave it up for a while. And this really big event in his life, very sad event. We're not gonna talk about it here, but we talk about an interview where he, he basically was forced to face himself and say, am I really doing what I wanna.
Am I really doing it for me. And I think the answer for him was no. So he actually left the agency after working there for over a decade and went all in with the freelancing. And that's when it started to blow up and now he's full time. He's doing really good with it. And I just think anyone listening right now, if you're creative right now, and you're on that, decision point where you could go one way and it's the way that everyone expects you to go.
It's the way your parents and friends and family expects you to go. It's the way your, society tells you to go. Or you could go this uncertain path. you don't know what the next step is. The path that you know is gonna stretch you and [00:05:00] make you get outside of your comfort zone.
If that is you right now, and you're on this, like pivotal point, this is absolutely an episode for you because I think it's gonna give you a really good perspective of someone that faced that decision for a very long time and took probably longer than they should to make that decision. Someone that would've probably naturally taken the easy way, the, the day job, the agency life, where he is getting the steady paycheck.
He might've kept doing that. If it weren't for this, catalyst in his life, that forced him to really make this decision. So, I think many creatives are at that point right now, where you're not forced to make this decision. So you just take the easy way every time.
And hopefully this will start to make you consider at least the other path right now, if you're on the fence right now. So either way, whether or not you're already a full-time freelancer or you're questioning whether you should do it full-time or do it at all this, episode's got a little something for everybody.
So without further delay here is my conversation with Ian Paget of logo geek. Ian, thank you so much for coming on the
Hey, Brian. And Hey everyone listening. I'm I'm really happy to be here. I'm excited for this.
I'm excited for this conversation too, because we have I don't think we've actually interviewed a podcaster on [00:06:00] here about how a podcast has affected their business. We've had plenty of podcasters on the show before, but never to come on to talk about one of the things I wanna talk through today with you is like how the, podcast has affected you as a freelancer because logo geek is kind of a hybrid business.
You've got from what I can understand, you've got some things with podcast sponsors with affiliates, things like that, but at its core, you're a logo designer and that's why you're called logo geek. And you own all those wonderful domains, logo, geek.com, logo, geek.co.uk logo,
geek.uk. Like you got 'em
You've done your research.
yes, yes, yes. And I, and I wanted to bring you on to talk about this today because one of the things I try to get our audience to do. They're very hesitant to do is create valuable content that attracts their ideal clients to them. And I think you've done that really well through logo geek and your podcast and the things you're doing there.
And I wanna get into that, but I don't wanna start there because there's, some stuff we need to get into before we actually get to the podcast, cuz podcast is kind of end game. from what I've seen on the outside, looking at, it seems like a huge piece of the puzzle of you finally moving to full-time logo design as of this year, . So I wanna get started a little earlier.
Just [00:07:00] like so many other freelancers in the design space, specifically, people start learning on the job and that was what you did earlier, early on. You were doing design for like print design, and that was like your first, like on the job training, getting paid, it was like minimum wage, not earning that much, but learning the ins and outs of graphic design.
And then you finally moved outta that after like five years into a web design agency. And that was kind of to me where you were really starting to learn the art of, graphic design. And I want to just, talk about the transition there, because that was your, you were there for like a decade and you were getting paid to learn the skill of design.
And I think so many freelancers. They skip that step especially in my space, in the, in the audio world where like, there's not a whole lot of opportunities to learn on the job, to learn in the studio under another producer or in the studio under another mixing engineer, mastering engineer. A lot of times we're self taught in this world, but in the design space specifically, and in video and in photography, there tends to be a lot more opportunities to learn on the job.
So I'd, I'd love for you to just talk through like how important that part of [00:08:00] the journey was for you, because we had Michael Jan on this show actually on episode. 2 0 7. So it was just a few weeks ago or about a month ago now the vis episode's out.
And he talked about like his job experience was absolutely crucial to his transition to freelance because he came outta the gate swinging here and like six figures his first year as a freelancer. But it's because he was already at such a high level with like a decade plus of experience. So I'd love for you to just talk through the importance of, how much that job was, a big part of you learning the, the skills that are now, what you're able to do full time as logo
I can, 100% say that I would not be where I am now if I hadn't worked for two companies. So is that only two companies, but it, was over a space of like 15 years. So I was quite lucky in that I was given this opportunity where I could learn on the job.
but I've always tried to work things out and figure things out. And, if I hadn't had that experience of kind of figuring stuff out on the job and, and, going [00:09:00] home and figuring out stuff at home, there's no way that I would be, where I am. And in terms of like my career goals, I never wanted to be freelance.
That was never one of my goals. it kind of became a byproduct of, I always had projects at home. So early on in my career, it was like, I really wanted to work on an illustrated book and, I was trying to figure out how to do like this hybrid of painting and, um, photos.
And that's how I kind of started figuring out Photoshop, but it was, you know, doing CD covers and movie posters. And some game artwork and stuff like that. On the side of my job, I was, I was learning stuff and it was through, trying to get better at logo design in my free time so that I could do it in my day job that I ended up accidentally creating this thing that became my full-time job.
so just to, just to kind of bring this around back to this. Your niche is [00:10:00] logo design. So that's very much a specific niche. And you mentioned that you kind of, you fell into that. Like, how did you find the passion for logo design? Because as someone who has a background in print design in web design you worked at the agency for a decade.
You eventually became director at the company or one of the directors of the company. so you had a lot of experience in all these different areas of graphic design. Like what made you narrow down to just logo design? Because so this is like the number one issue our community has, which is nicheing down to something specific.
They want to do all the things because they have passions in all the areas and they love all the things. And they can't imagine only doing one logos that would make so boring for me. If I only did logos, like what was the thing that said, Hey, this is what I wanna do. This is the actual
thing that is for me.
there's not really a simple answer to this, but I'll try and explain in, in my first job, one thing I really loved was technical illustration. So I had this illustration background. I, I always kind of like figuring stuff out. And in my free time at the time of starting logo geek, I just finished [00:11:00] working on a computer game.
This was something I was doing for fun. Uh, with a few friends was creating this like iPhone game. And it was after finishing that, that I felt a little bit burned out from doing side projects, because that was a really big project that we, we all spent years on it.
is that what I might have heard
was called GU who it doesn't exist now.
But you can find some of the artwork for it somewhere on my website. But basically it was, after doing that, I wanted to work on something, but nothing of that scale and my partner at the time actually said, why don't you do logo design?
Because you're good at it. And at that point, I enjoyed doing all graphic design, but actually logo design was a nice idea as a side project, because, you could take on a logo project or you could start working on a logo project and you would literally start and finishing it within a short space of time.
So. you know, if you took one on [00:12:00] and you, you did it and then you can take as long break as you want, which was a, a start contrast from working on something over like a four year period. And in terms of the passion, like okay. I liked logo design. I was always interested in logo design. I'd done a few logos in my full-time job at that point.
And I did enjoy doing them when I did them. But in terms of it becoming a passion, it was through building logo geeks.
And you launched that like a
gig thing in what? 2012?
I can't remember the exact date, but that sounds, it probably is about 10 years ago now. But yeah, it, it was just started as a hobby website where I could create logos, post them on the website and, and write blogs and share what I was learning.
And it was really, the result of creating a Twitter account, where I set myself the goal of posting something every [00:13:00] day. And, and obviously every day, when you are finding content, reading content, the more you kind of read into a topic and the, the deeper that you go into a topic, you realize how much there is to learn.
And it's like, okay, I wanna learn more about this. So I get buying books, I get, buying as many books as I can on the topic and speaking to people about it. And even, after doing this for years, speaking to some of the best logo designers in, in the world, I'm still learning stuff. It, you wouldn't think that was something like a logo is relatively simple when you look at it.
But in terms of the actual topic itself, there is so much that you can learn about this thing. And I, I think it really, in terms of that, passion, it was just a byproduct of, choosing to focus on that. And as I said earlier, I never planned to go freelance, but everything grow and grow and grow and grow.
And I just got to a point where it's like, okay, I need to give up one of these things, even my full-time job or my lowkey geek stuff. And I spent years being stuck [00:14:00] in this route, choosing between the two. I always picked my full-time job because that was what I thought was the norm.
But I could never let the lowkey gig stuff go. And, eventually I made my mind up to take a leap and that's when my, where I was working, gave me a part-time position. And it was when my daughter was born. I'm like, I wanna be at home
you were doing this on the side. Is this a side gig? your partner said, Hey, you're really good at logos. This is something you should pursue. and you just said, I'm just gonna learn as much as I can about this. And, and here's a big difference that I, I see in your approach to what most people do when they're learning something.
Most people say, I need to learn it all before I can teach or share anything that I'm learning. Whereas you said, you're
not teaching, but you're just sharing what you're
learning as you're learning.
And you, you grew your Twitter phone to like 90,000 people or something like that at this point.
and I was listening to one of your, past uh, conversations you had and you you mentioned something that you had heard someone talking about using
to grow your business early on. And you were like, I'm just gonna try all these different growth hacks. And none of them really worked, but [00:15:00] Twitter seemed to catch on.
Can you just talk about
like the the growth hack phase of your business? Because at that point you were just working with like nickel and dime projects for friends and you had not actually worked with what I would consider like a real client, which is like a stranger, someone who has no idea who you are outside of your local circle, your friends and family and people that already know I can trust you.
You decided I'm gonna implement these growth hacks. You can explain what that means and, and what you tried. And then that eventually led to it's like
your first real client.
in the agency that I worked for, I was always badgering to them that we need to do more social media. Like I had an interest in social media
Wait, what was the interest from? Because most people, especially in our community, they have little to no interest in social media and they want to avoid it like the plague. And I, I'm kind of one of those. I completely see the value in it, but I don't use it myself. So I, I have a hard time actually using it for my advantage, cuz I don't use it for pleasure.
And I, I think it's hard for people if they don't actually utilize social media, the way it's intended. It's also hard to utilize social media as a tool as well. So I'd just love to know like where the inherent interests come from for social media.
[00:16:00] it was more that I could see that there was big opportunity to get. Clients through it. So something I always like to do in my day job, and I think it's one of the reasons why they promoted me to a, a director eventually is because I would always just Badger them. Like, we need to be doing this. We need to be doing this, this, this, this, because they, they wasn't doing it.
Any of it. They was doing the, the more traditional, cold calling. , when, I'm talking about this, Twitter was new. Facebook hadn't been out long. Like really, it was, it was that early in terms of the internet, which is weird, cuz it's not really that long ago. And it was more that these new and modern things were obviously something that would change the world and it has.
at that time I was, into my space when MySpace was a thing. And, and that's where I got some of my clients from, I, it was all voluntary work, but you know, used to do album covers for bands and stuff like that.
I was one
of those bands that was using MySpace to tour.
[00:17:00] I saw the opportunity there and, and I've always had an interest in emerging technology and things that could be, big and.
my hunch was right. And, and the company did eventually get into it. but anyway, going back to my story, they ended up doing an interview with somebody that came in for the online marketing team. And this girl that they hired was really into, social media and all the growth hack stuff.
And it was something that they'd never done before. And they knew that I was interested in this. I already had a little bit of a team, all graphic designers, but they're like, Ian. And if we hire this person, can you manage them? Because you understand there's more than anyone in the company, basically. So, I agreed cuz I thought it was exciting.
And she was talking about some. Different ideas that I'd never really heard of. One of them is, you wouldn't do it now because it's not [00:18:00] okay to do this now, but it was the whole follow unfollow thing.
That is very much like a growth hack. It feels black hat,
like, not kosher.
it would be deemed black hat now.
Definitely. And, but at that time, it, the tools allowed it, think it's this one thing that's clever. It's not just randomly following anyone. It was finding accounts similar to yours, go on their profile and basically follow the people that followed them. And at that time, it doesn't work this way now.
So you can't do this now. and you'll probably get your account. Blocked if you actually tried it, but then when you check someone's followers, it listed it in the order that they followed them. So the ones at the top were the most recent followers. So basically her approach was find all the accounts that have the same audience that you want.
Go on there, follow all of the ones that have followed that day. And then a few days later used this application which basically allowed you to [00:19:00] unfollow the accounts that didn't follow you back. So it's just this constant daily activity.
I tried it, I tried it and like, I was doing all the good stuff with it, you know, the, the posting and having a good profile and, and engaged with people talking, starting conversations.
I was doing all that stuff as well, but it, worked
and, and here's one thing to, to point out is the reason you wouldn't do this now for O other than
maybe the moral reasons. but also this was back before there were algorithmic feeds. So like there was no real way to get discovered by your content.
But now with Instagram reels, with TikTok, your content speaks for itself on, on how viral it goes like if you post something that's quality content that appeals to the right person, it's gonna get, start getting shared and get views. And, and I've seen this play out again and again and again, from our own TikTok account to my wife's TikTok account, which is many multiples of the size of our own, like this works as a completely different discovery mechanism.
But the point is the same that you thought about this from a strategic perspective of, I am going to do something to grow [00:20:00] my account and grow my reach and grow my following
I, did it daily. I I made it a thing because I was thinking. this seems really hacky. This is not gonna be okay to do for a long, you know, someone's gonna realize that people are doing this and block the accounts are doing it or whatever. So what I decided to do is every day, and in the week I would be waking up at like half six.
Cause I went to work. the first thing I did every morning and I made this just a routine, was do the whole following, do the posting comment on anyone that had commented and just, 15 minutes each morning. And then I'd go about my usual morning routine. doing that for how many years did I do it?
It was, it was a while that I was doing this. It was great. You saw the numbers climbing. It was it was about 50 a day. And because it was such a high number, I was thinking if I miss a day, I miss out on a lot. And[00:21:00] I, I did this for a long period of time.
Like I said, you can't do this now,
there's a couple, things to pull away from this, though, even though you wouldn't do this specific specific tactic, there's still a strategy behind it. You made it part of your routine. You had a set amount of time. You did it every single day.
You understood the opportunity cost of not doing it because you not doing it directly affected your growth on Twitter, which directly affected your logo side hustle, which at the time was a side hustle. It eventually became like overwhelming to where you had to actually cut down in your day job.
We'll move to that part. But the difference is like you were paying what I call your client acquisition tax. Like most people, they don't have word of mouth bringing in enough clients yet. And so they think that if, as long as they just keep doing nothing, eventually they'll get enough clients to word of mouth takes over.
And it doesn't doesn't really work that way. Like Ian was paying his client acquisition tax. He was spending a percentage of his time on client acquisition, which at this time was kind of a hacky way of doing it growth hacks. Right. And then eventually it got to the point where now you have a lot of word of mouth and you actually use the podcast, which is much more kosher
of growing your,
business and what definitely wanna get to
I do wanna say [00:22:00] that these things it was normal to do that then it was hacky, but at the end of the day, I was following people that had an interest in the stuff that would like my account. So, it was just more like a, a quicker way of accessing tho those people and the tools allowed.
That to be done. And this, like, if you are into marketing and you're following like trends for how to do stuff, this was one of the things that people was doing back then. It's just, now it's deemed as like black hat and all this sort of stuff, because the platforms are like they got algorithms and stuff to, to pick up on this.
But back then, it was all new and people were trying stuff and it worked,
Well, here's the thing is like, there's plenty of people talking about what works today. So it's about finding a strategy that works today. But at the end of the day you were doing something most people, and I'm talking to you, the listener right now, listening. You're probably doing nothing to get new clients right now.
You're probably just waiting around for them to find you while Ian's over here. He's got a podcast, he's done [00:23:00] some, some sketchy stuff in his background. He's got this, he's got this black hat history. Uh, we don't talk about that anymore. but he's doing, he'd done something and he had a routine around it and he
was systematic with it.
I'm still, doing the stuff that works like posting, engaging with people, commenting on staff being active, building a platform. and I've got to a point now, like say with my Facebook group, I don't need to create the content on there for people to become aware of the logo geek brand is kind of like self growing
the same with our community. We have almost 10,000 people in there. And I think at any given month, Six or 7,000 of those will be active in the community. So it's a self perpetuating thing on that end and maybe worth talking about as well.
But just to bring this on track here, you had, used these strategies, you had grown to the point where you were getting overwhelmed with this as a side gig.
And so you had this decision to make, do I, double down on this and go full-time or at least part-time or do I stick with a day job? And you actually, from what my research uncovered is, you actually [00:24:00] said, no, I'm just gonna focus on the day job. this is like my career. I've got the director role here.
I'm like growing in this company, I'm learning new skills, probably liking your job. You didn't hate it. Cuz you're there for a decade. Most people don't, most people, not everyone, but most people don't stick with a job that they hate for a decade. So you liked what you were doing, but then you had kind of a big life event that made you think like, okay, I can't miss out on these opportunities anymore.
it was like a serious thing that happened with you. That was what led you to deciding to go part-time with the day job and
focus on logo
So yeah, I I'll be honest about it. So my mom passed away and it got me thinking about, things I could regret. whenever anything like that happens, you know, does get you thinking about life in a different way. is, it is a sad thing, but actually what it got me thinking in my head was actually a very healthy thing, you know, like I've always been a relatively shy person and would probably say no to things that were actually be [00:25:00] very good for me.
But. When you start to think about, okay, you know, I'm gonna grow old and, and I'm not gonna be around forever. You don't wanna regret stuff. And there was a lot of things things like traveling or, and, and just having the courage to do certain things. One of them was, was the uh, podcast as well.
I've always known deep down that, that what I was doing with lo geek could be really successful. I think even now it can be substantially bigger than it is if I, put in even more time and, and energy. I just knew that if I actually committed to doing it, that I could make lo geek a success.
And just that mindset of, Having no regrets. the podcast was another thing. Cuz one, one of the reasons why I started the podcast is because, I, I can get very anxious in certain situations. So like at school, college, all that sort of stuff. If I was asked to stand up in front of the [00:26:00] crowd, I'd be there.
And I think a lot of people are like this to be fair. I would be really nervous. I'd be literally panicking about it for like a week, feeling sick, not wanting to do it. If I was up under I'd be like shaking. Like, you know, my hands would be shaking, I'd be sweating. My voice would be trembling. And uh, this was the same for even, you know, turn on the, the podcast, Mike, I got the same feeling
syndrome. They call it in the
I didn't want to always be like that. And I, I did get some therapy to help with this. And I learned about something called cognitive behavioral therapy there's more to it and I'm really generalizing it here, but you basically need to expose yourself to the thing that scares you.
And um, podcasting was a nice, way to enter into this. You know, you hit the record button, get the same feeling, keep doing that over and over and over again. So our recording as many episodes as I could and, [00:27:00] saying yes to as many interviews as many shows as I could be on every time I got nervous for a long time, but now I've got to the point where I don't even think about it.
I just, sit down, show up hit record and, and just talk. And I think you mentioned prior to recording this, that you heard that some of my early episodes, I rerecorded bit, it was because I would get nervous and sound like an absolute idiot. So I'd rerecord some of my parts so that I sounded better.
And it just, doesn't matter cause it's prerecorded. the most important thing is the final thing. So rerecording my parts, it just made it sound better. But now I'm at the point now where I don't do that. And, and the only time I do that is BEC if, say the internet cut out or something and, you know, I've needed to pack it together in some way.
Most interviews now that I do are just very natural and, it's all down to confidence and, and that confidence has, has come [00:28:00] through just recording as many episodes as I can.
I love your story because you're not Traditional path for a podcaster. you're not like the, overconfident like the salesman guy, kind of like the radio DJ voice kind of guy. Hey, welcome back to the podcast guys. Like , you know, like the, you're not that type of personality and you're you don't, you don't come from that kind of background.
You were actually like the exact opposite. You're probably more like a lot of our audience where you're just like a natural introvert. You are scared to talk to large crowds getting on the microphone and talking to thousands of people at a time is terrifying to most people. And what most people do, almost everyone listening right now.
That's ever considered a podcast that has that fear would say, Nope, not for me. I will do I'll hide behind a screen and just post little like
art things on, on
I just wanna say you can actually go back to my early episodes or you can go back even further and listen to some of the um, first interviews I did. there was a podcast, I don't believe it's still available. But [00:29:00] there was a show called side gig and I was a co-host on that. And uh, sometimes I would get so nervous and sometimes the guy's like, are you okay?
And I'm like,
Was that with Preston from Meow. Was that the podcast you
yeah. It was with Preston. Yeah. I remember, you know, cuz there were three of us and I'd be listening to Preston and, and uh, Ryan talking and they have these amazing American accents and they're both really confident and I'd kind of forget that I'm supposed to be speaking
kind of the job as a co-host. Yeah.
and sometimes I. Because I was nervous. I'm just waiting for my opportunity to say something. So what I say just doesn't fit really within the flow of the conversation, because I'm just so nervous.
You're just like waiting way too long. So by the time you
speak, it's like out of context.
Yeah. So sometimes they'd be like, oh yeah, I wanna comment about that. What he just said, like, now I've just, but in, because you know, I'm comfortable [00:30:00] enough to do that back then.
It's like, I'll wait until my time right now. I can talk about this, but they finished talking about that like 10 minutes ago. Yeah. You get the drift. It's just
I think you might have mentioned this a little bit, but you're, I want people to fully grasp how bad you were in public speaking, where you said you would physically shake, like your hands would physically shake where like, if you were doing a toast or something the alcohol would
come out of the, the, glass,
is, it is two different things, but with the public speaking, if I know that there was a talk coming up and I, I would still do this now to be fair, if it was, like an
event, I would know it's coming up and I'd be worrying about it every day.
And I would have sleepless nights. I'd keep swallowing to the point. I feel sick. And then when it comes, you built it up so much in your head that your heart just starts thumping it. And, just start trembling
It's like the fight or flight response. Your adrenaline
is just spiking.
and you feel sick and you just can't function like, your whole body is going into some shutdown mode and you can [00:31:00] talk, but not properly, not confidently.
It's more like, uh um, yeah, it's. it's horrible to have that intense of a fear with this type of thing. And um, you mentioned something then about, you know, holding certain things, what a related issue I had, in my first job, something they would do was deal like a toast, they'd have special events through the air.
So it was like, somebody's getting married, let's all go downstairs that celebrate, and they'd give us all champagne. And like, literally just holding it. My hand would just start trembling. And. I thought, you know, maybe there's something wrong with like my muscles or something. I don't know. I I'd made up all these reasons for what was causing it, but it was just, anxiety.
And I, I found out very quickly how to, cure that. I eventually got help for this. I eventually spoke to a, therapist about this. based on like a 30 minute conversation, this is just somebody [00:32:00] talking to me explaining how the brain works and, and how everything functions.
They gave me a, solution for it. And it was just to pay attention to something else.
Like focus, on something else. Like some attribute of another
person, like their big nose or someone else's necklace
Yeah, so maybe someone's necklace or something in the room. And um, that cured it pretty much, not immediately. It took a little bit, but I noticed, you know, straight away it eased it off and um, this is normal.
This, is built into our brains cuz is come through evolution. So if you can imagine as cave men lying comes in that lion is a danger to your life. So if like say it was to attack you or scare you, you need to have this built in response into your body that this is not safe.
Your body needs to react to, it needs to pump in the adrenaline so that you can run it's, you know, the Fight flight thing, whatever that saying is, we all have this built into it. This, is a normal thing. [00:33:00] So everybody, at some point in their life has some kind of phobia. Anyone that doesn't is lying because it's built into our, bodies.
It just happens that it's irrelevant now we don't need it, but can surface itself in weird ways, like say for some people, including me like the telephone rings, I don't have this issue now, but there was a point telephone where I get this, like, feel scared.
I've heard of this. I've heard of like, people getting like anxiety, if the phone rings or like having to talk to anyone on
the phone, like
Yeah. I was like that
I'm one of those weird red editors where I'm on Reddit all the time. Like that's my, my vice throughout the day to just like, turn my brain off for a second.
And the overarching attitude of Reddit is antisocial and they talk about their fears like this. So I see this all the time on, on Reddit. it's fascinating to me because it's not something I experience, but I have this in other areas and here's the thing I wanna bring this back to is you, you went out and got therapy for
this, you didn't just accept this about yourself.
this isn't just who I am. This is
how I am. This is how I'm built.
I, I think what's important to understand is that [00:34:00] each time you have a fear of something and you have mechanisms to avoid that what you are actually doing is making the situation worse. and because I was doing this thing for so long and avoiding these situations doing everything I can to prevent it, it creates the uh, fear.
So you see some people out there that have stupid phobias of like lifts and, balloons
and whatever, you know,
Yeah, random things. It gets worse because they avoid, they avoid it. They cement it in their brain that this is a danger. So their body reacts in the same way as it should do. If you're a caveman and a lion comes in because you're actually in physical danger, it's the same response from a butterfly that's actually safe just because they keep kind of cementing that. but how you get around it is using cognitive behavioral therapy where you gradually expose yourself to that thing and slowly train your brain that is safe.
[00:35:00] So maybe start with
staring at a photo of it or something where you're like this photo. it
triggers me. But
yeah. May like if, if a picture triggers them, then that could be a way to gradually
you wouldn't just,
immediately go into a big butterfly sanctuary with like, thousands of butterflies. I imagine.
like for me, when my public speaking, walking into a huge crowd would just be, you know, that's just gonna build up the, uh, fear. You can gradually expose yourself to these things and work through it. But most people don't do that. they are scared of that thing and they want to avoid that thing and they just make the situation worse.
But once you understand how the brain works, you can actually kind of retrain your brain to be used to these. Things, and it's interesting and you can do it yourself. You don't need a therapy, but in my case, it was nice to be able to sit down when someone, they explained it and it made me realize, okay, this isn't caused by anything like through my childhood or anything of that, I was, I was literally expecting to be like laid, laid down on the [00:36:00] bed and like, tell me about your mother and all this sort of stuff.
But actually it was, it was sold with very simple things. Just understanding how the brain works. It literally was someone talking to me for like 30 minutes that, uh, solved the problem. Some other things like stuttering and fear of public speaking, they are more complicated things, but they taught me what I would need to do to overcome those things.
So for me, podcasting, you know, hitting the record button, just recording my voice and doing more of the podcast and stuff like that. it takes a lot of time and you really need to want the outcome. But gradually exposing yourself to these things and knowing that it will get better.
it's worth doing
so if, you.
have a fear of anything to it,
So you've got, you've got past this fear a little bit like I wanna say suck out therapy, Seeked out therapy. You, you what's
past tense for seek Seeked out.
Sought. There it is. You sought out therapy. my editor, [00:37:00] when me sounds smart there, it's fine.
Or he'll just leave this in and make me sound stupid
either. Way's so when
just leave it in.
yeah, you sought out therapy, you Seeked out therapy, you sought out therapy. And it was like he gave you the quick win, which is just like, Hey, focus on the necklace or the big nose or the big ears or the big eyes and your hands will stop shaking.
So you thought, okay, I can change myself. That was like a good, quick win where you said, like, this is not just how I'm built. Like I can overcome this stuff. you eventually said I'm gonna start a podcast to help get past this stuff.
it didn't start out easy. Cuz you, you did the podcast with Preston and Ryan and uh, you were probably less than stellar, did 10 episodes with them. but when did you actually launch the logo geek podcast? Sometime in 2017 from my research or was there episodes that were deleted off the backlog before that?
Cause your first episode live is with Chris DOE. I
dunno if you had anything before that.
I recorded a couple of solo things. They don't exist anymore. I, I don't know what happened to them, but it's a shame because it would be nice to hear how bad they are.
I'll have my editor put on here. Um, My very first YouTube video.[00:38:00] from like 2000 into 2008, early 2009 is so worth watching because you'll see, like, I wasn't a natural either. Like I was a, an Alabama bowl. I didn't know how to speak to a camera. I didn't know how to articulate myself.
Like I was awful on that first video. So they'll, embed it on our show notesPage@sixfigurecreative.com slash two 12. If you wanna see that. And then if we find any of those old episodes that you mentioned
like Preston or something, I don't remember what you
yeah. you some of those probably do exist. I think one of the first guest interviews I did was on being freelance. Um, So I didn't have any microphone or anything. So the, the audio quality's awful. And, yeah,
from your early, early on your podcast to now, like the way you present
it's totally different. I don't even recognize myself.
But let's talk about your podcast, logo, geek and house affected your business. Cause that's really like the key of this, of wanting to chat about today, even though we've, taken a good, long
winding road to get here. Um, So you've got this podcast and I'd love to kind of talk about how it's affected you now, because we can talk about getting it started and man managing it, maintaining it [00:39:00] because like most people fall off like five to 10 episodes in for a podcast and they don't ever get past that point, but here you are 130 something episodes end to your own podcast.
You're on the 212th episode of my podcast. So I know about the same thing about like what it takes to maintain a podcast long term. how is the podcast affecting your business now? Like is it a key part of getting clients for you? Is it a key part of just building the relationships to lead to clients? Like how is it actually
woven into the business for logo
I mean, it's probably not uh, in a way that you, think it would be successful because in theory, I could create content that targets my target audience and, and all that sort of stuff. I don't actually do that. With the podcast, I create content for other Lego designers, but how this benefits me.
I mean, first of all, the, personal aspect where it helps build my confidence, my ability to communicate it assists with my learning. I can speak to people. I'm a fan of, there's lots of personal benefits, [00:40:00] but, the other byproduct is. And creating frequent content.
So every time I do an interview, I get the interview transcribed. I put links into it. So it's building up content on my website, which is helping towards SEO. most of the benefits that SEO related to be honest. So search engine optimization related. So if you can imagine, when I do an interview with someone prominent, they might put a link on their website back to the interview.
So I get back links from relevant authoritative uh, websites. I create. Keyword rich content for my website. It builds a reputation. So I spoke to a client earlier that actually said that he listened to my podcast and can tell that I'm really into logo design and that I know what I'm talking about. Yeah, I mean that, that's just a, a few of the, the benefits really.
And I can, I can talk about some of those things in more detail, but yeah. Whereas has a real advantages the SEO. Oh, and the other thing I forgot is I'm able to get sponsors. [00:41:00] So basically probably a quarter of my income comes from sponsorship or affiliate based marketing as a result of promoting the, podcast.
Got it. you're not necessarily doing what I would consider, like traditional content marketing, where you're creating content that attracts your ideal
I know that, I should do that, but this works too.
I was gonna say it it seems to be working for you, you do have clients that listen to the podcast and, and even if they aren't listeners to the podcast, I think there's a secondary benefit of them seeing that you are actively putting out content.
So you're still putting out relevant content. That's valuable. And actually, James Martin talked about this on episode 204, where he's not really targeting businesses for his content on, his mailing list and his, Instagram account he's targeting other designers. But what he does is share his process, share what he's learning.
And when people go to analyze and, and see if James is the right designer for him, they see all the stuff that he's created and say, oh yeah, I love his work. He's serious about it. He's sharing with stuff with others. And so [00:42:00] that helps the credibility indicators of like this guy's serious about it. He's got a following he's built up it's the same with you.
The podcast, like you
are, you've become an authority in the logo
think if I was going to start everything now, I would do everything completely different. Because everything's kind of happened by accident and I wouldn't think creating content for other graphic designers would actually end up me uh, attracting clients, cuz in reality, if you can imagine, if I did have clients listen to my podcast, they could go with any any one that I'm interviewing by probably giving work away in, in some cases because it's helping clients do their research.
So it, I think if I was going to start everything again logo, design, kneeing down was kind of an accident. Doing the podcast was kind of an accident. mean, everything's kind of being accidental, but it's working, but I, I think if I was going to be more focused, I would probably only put, science medicine, [00:43:00] technology based logos in my portfolio.
And then I would probably create a podcast where I spoke to people in the science medicine, and technology sector and use the podcast as a way of networking. because one of the great things with podcasting is you can basically speak to anyone that you want for a long period of time.
And, using the podcast in an entirely selfish way, I can reach out to people like David Arie or Aaron Lin or Tom GeMar or whoever. And if they say yes, I get to spend an hour with that person and ask them whatever I want to. mean, yes, I, I do try to focus on the, audience, but if I wanna be entirely selfish, I can be like, I can ask them whatever I want.
I call these sales funnels podcasts because, I know a number of people that do this and they do it very successfully. Where the guest is, is who you're going after, not the audience.
and this is what I'm doing with [00:44:00] Youi and I'm gonna sell you something at the end of this.
No um, where, like you don't necessarily care as much about the audience you're building, but you definitely care about the hour you get to spend with someone you otherwise wouldn't be able to get their time. And, good example of this is like your very first episode of, at least it's live right now of the logo geek podcast is Chris DOE and he is a really well known designer.
And he's got a lot of demand for his time. And if you were to just reach out to Chris and say, Hey, can I pick your brain for an hour? He would say, absolutely not. If you get any response at all, but because you were saying, Hey, would you be willing to come on my podcast to be interviewed? There's a much higher chance that you're gonna get the yes.
In that scenario and you didn't have anything to sell him, but that just gives the example of how it's easier to reach and talk to your ideal clients, especially in, industries where your clients, I dunno, for better or for worse, consider themselves above you.
Oh yeah. I think everyone's like that. I mean, most, anyone that's busy is unlikely just to sit down with someone that they'd never met in their life for an hour, like say if I wanted to target people that was in science and medicine and stuff like that,[00:45:00] they would probably assume that I wanna speak to them because I want to sell them something most of them
would probably think that. but yeah, having a podcast it's like, I, I wanna hear your story. Come on. And then that's, a good way of getting to know them building up the whole no like, and trust factor. I think also with this approach, like say if you did a podcast on. That was science based. You would get other people that are interested in that, listen to it, and they would get to know you like you and trust you.
And you could use your podcast to say I'm a graphic designer. I focus on this, on this week's episode, we're gonna interview this person. So you, you could use every episode as a sales pitch, but you could also use the podcast as where you're targeting. So, as I was saying, if I was to start over from scratch and be more thoughtful in everything that I'm doing, that's what I would do.
But, everything that I am doing right now hopefully it made it clear. It, just kind of come as an accident and it is just because it is working. I, I keep doing it.[00:46:00]
I think a big part of it is and this is something for the audience to pay attention to is that you're taking action of some sort. even though it might be considered like imperfect action, it's still better than nothing. And most people, again, they just default to doing nothing, waiting for clients, to find them waiting for opportunities to find them.
And I love the quote where luck is just when preparation meets opportunity. If you don't have the preparation part done where you've put in some of the work, you don't get those opportunities where luck strikes. And I think a lot of the times you look back on your past and say, I was lucky that this happened.
It's because you put in the work ahead of time, even in perfect action is better than no action at all. That being said, like shifting the way the podcast is or what you would've done differently, maybe it was more efficient. Maybe it would've worked out better, but who at the end of the day, doesn't matter because you're now full time doing what you love.
The podcast is a big part of that.
So talk really quick about just launching the podcast, cuz in my world, coming from the, the music production background, it wasn't a lot of work to figure out the tech side of things. You don't have that background. You, weren't a natural speaker. You weren't a natural, like you didn't come from a long [00:47:00] history, a lineage of, of radio VJs DJs V whatever they are.
what, was your experience launching your podcast from scratch as someone who doesn't have any experience or, you didn't have natural talents at the time when he did this.
I did not. in terms of tech, I already had a computer. I bought a blue Yeti microphone. where it's just USB, you plug it into a computer and it does what you want it to. And. I figured stuff out. And, the first interview I did went completely horribly wrong
and that's where most people would say, this is not for me. I give up, this was horrible experience and I feel bad and I'm never doing it again. Like, but you kept going.
So what was the experience from there?
I talked through what happened with that first interview, so I don't know how I managed to get him to agree to it. But the first person I actually interviewed was Aaron drin, who is basically a megastar in the graphic design industry. And [00:48:00] I found out about this software.
I think that's when I found out about Zencaster I wanted to try Zencaster and it didn't work. It didn't work on his end. He couldn't hear me. We ended up doing it across Skype. I think,
showing that age there a little bit, the Skype's kind of irrelevant now.
yeah, Skypes are relevant now. And um, thankfully he asked me, do you want me to record this my end?
And I'm like, yeah, please, if you don't mind. And I'm glad he did that because nothing I recorded, my end worked, So I had none of my audio, but I had all of his audio. So what I ended up doing was just, cutting up the conversation, all of the good stuff, because even my first question was awful.
I think my first question was what's the weather like over there as like a really stupid question.
Which is funny cuz you and I did talk about the weather cuz as of the time it's recording, you have that heat wave over there, but it was off, it was [00:49:00] off interview.
Yeah that. Yeah, but I mean, this, I wasn't prepared, I didn't have questions were written down or anything. I, just thought I would be able to sit down and have a conversation with him. And, I mean, thankfully I had like two hours worth of audio and what I did is I cut out all the good bits and then rerecorded everything of mine.
have you gone back to talking to him about this? Like since then,
Oh, he has no idea. I did that.
Oh, I love this story because again, it's, just the, the example of imperfect action. You were not prepared for this. You still did it anyways. As someone who is a, struggling perfectionist, like, I can't imagine ever doing this, but at the same time, I'm missing out a ton of opportunity because I'm not willing to take the imperfect action.
I have to, everything has to be perfect when I do it.
Oh, yeah. I mean, I'm, I'm okay for things to not be perfect. I think one of the best interviews I did was with Christo and it's because if you actually listen to it, I asked like two questions and Chris just talks, which is great.
classic, [00:50:00] Chris.
oh, I mean, I love Chris that all of that content was absolutely fantastic.
it gave me a false hope of I'm good at this. So I think the, the, the third interview I did, I realized, okay, Aaron drin, I need to have questions written down. Christo gave me the false impression that I didn't write need to write out many questions. So the third interview I did, I had questions, but not.
So I remember getting through all the questions in like 15 minutes and having this like slight panic attack. Like, I don't know what to ask . But I mean, eventually something that I've always tried to do is each time I did an episode, I learned from it. So things like learning how to use the microphone, I learned how to reduce like the pops and the sound.
the pop filters early on were an issue with you. I listened to some of the early episodes, the explosives.
And learning how to use the microphone properly. And like, if you listen to it from the first episode you notice each time I release one, [00:51:00] it improves slightly in some way. And that was something that I kept trying to do. Like every time I released something new, I learned from it and that was in my interview style, how I prepared for the interviews.
so now I over prepare for every interview. I write down too many questions.
I've got nearly 30 bullet points in my outline here. We won't get through all of them, but I
never at a point where I don't know what to
is good to be prepared cuz you are gonna sit down for an hour. You need to be able to control a conversation and steer a conversation for a long time. And that's a skill in its own. Right. And just learning how to use the tech, learning, how to use editing. So I, the only software that I knew at that time was garage band and garage band is all right, but it's also not very good in comparison to uh, Adobe audition, when I moved over to Adobe audition immediately, that was a big quality jump. And then obviously I've, gradually learned more about the hardware side of things. So now I've got like[00:52:00] a protester and I've got one of those focus, right. Box things that the audio gig goes into.
my, audio audience is like Uhhuh. They're shaking their head. I know what this stuff is. Yeah.
yeah. I mean, it's just BA like a fairly basic setup in, in comparison to what you guys do, but that blue Yeti that used to pick up everything. So my little one, if she was crying, you heard it all. every single little sound in the house, it would pick up that sound. And um, yeah, I just learned each time I released something, I got better.
So the first episodes, which I thought were great, I actually thought they were great.
How long did it take for you to get any sort of traction or notice of your podcast? Because the reason most podcasts don't make it to 10 episodes is because they don't get any downloads. And, and so there's no encouragement to keep going.
I, got. Podcast sponsor. Even before I had a podcast, FreshBooks had reached out to me because of my social media following. And I think they wanted to tap into that. And also I'd, [00:53:00] done the episode with Preston and Ryan who also had that relationship with FreshBooks. So I, pitched them the idea and they, they were happy to sponsor 10 episodes.
And in terms of like the audience, I already had the social following I already had, a community. I, I already had people that wanted my content. So as soon as I released it, I had people listening to it.
same with our podcast. I think my mailing list at the time that I launched this podcast in 2018, the mailing list was probably 10 or 15,000 people at the time. And so it wasn't like I was launching it to zero people. I a following already. And, it can be really difficult.
I think that's the, the thing that kills podcasts early on is. Launching to crickets because it's, it's just like a freelance business. Like if you have no way to get people in the door in the very beginning, you're gonna struggle. So you started building an audience through kind of black hat methods, it's all kind of full circle.
Now you use that audience to grow the podcast, which is now very white hat. So like it's legit dis kosher and you've used your consistency and your, knack for routine and,[00:54:00] learning from imperfect action to then grow the podcast and keep it consistent for a hundred plus episodes.
And it's helped you on your freelance business through direct and indirect ways. if I'm looking at you from the like top down of like, what is Ian's superpower, it is the fact that you are willing to take action where you're uncomfortable. It's where you're willing to be consistent, where others fail and give up after a short amount of time.
it's your ability to learn from your mistakes? Even when you're not a natural something you'll keep going until you are a natural something. And I think that's something that a lot of people in our audience can learn from. So there anything else I missed about the podcast and how it plays into things and how it's helped the business that I, I should have chatted about before we wrap up the, the discussion here that you think is worth mentioning?
we've mentioned having access to certain people. But where I think it's been great is, we mentioned Christo, so I use Christo as an example. So I, I slowly got to know Chris through social. He then came on my podcast and, I ended up going on his podcast.
That's been the case for[00:55:00] a few things that the podcast opened doors like that. as a podcast host, you want good guests and It's easier to find somebody that's already done other podcasts because you've got proof that they, they are good to interview.
Like not everybody is good to interview. Some people are really hard to interview. And by being a podcast host, it kind of opens up lots of doors. So being on other shows and they open up other doors and you really create this compound effect. I think that's probably the best way to, call it that you got a podcast that can reach out to someone like Christo.
Chris invites me on his show that then opens up a door to a whole load of other people. And. that action on its own is a relatively small thing. But if you keep doing that and keep adding onto that and keep stacking on these, other names that open up out the doors, it scales and scales and scales and scales, and it's, crazy really that you can create content that attracts sponsors.
So therefore somebody is then [00:56:00] paying you to make yourself bigger. And because you are bigger, they then have to pay you more money. And it's just, it's, crazy that we live in this world where you can create a machine for yourself that just continually scales and grows.
It's it's madness.
I think this is the thing that the CEO old CEO of Amazon where he's talking about the flywheel effect, where it's like the self perpetuating machine that just spins faster and faster and faster with every turn because, each thing is helping the next thing along and that eventually creates a loop in and of itself.
Uh, it's hard to explain. I've never really, it took a while for me to grasp the whole flywheel effect in business. But with you, you've built an audience that actually now allows you so many other opportunities outside of freelancing, cuz you sell like 25% of your incomes just from sponsors and that's not including what else you might create
for that audience.
there's lots of other ideas that I have things I've been working on, things that I've started. And it's great to be in a position where the, opportunities are there. It's just down to me to actually, sit down and, and [00:57:00] do the things that I need to do.
But, you have the freedom to do that. Most people don't even have that option to even take those opportunities because they haven't put in the work over time. To get to those opportunities. So luck is preparation plus uh, opportunity. And you've built these opportunities for yourself that you can then either take advantage of, or you can say, no, I love spending time with my partner.
I love spending time with my child. I love doing what I'm doing each day. I don't need to buy into the mentality of ever expanding my, business and income. I'm happy where I am at. And some people never find that happiness of like satisfaction and some people find it way too soon and they limit a lot of their opportunity.
But I think you've probably found a balance there. And again, it all comes back to now you have these opportunities you have an audience and it was even again, the imperfect action, it was not going, it was not even billing the right audience. I'm using air quotes here. If you're not watching on YouTube, it wasn't using the right audience for your freelance business, but it still helped the freelance business despite that.
And so now we have these other great opportunities. So if you want our audience to go somewhere to connect with you or take an action of some sort where would you like them to go, Ian?
If you search. [00:58:00] For logo geek. I have a website with more info about me. I have a podcast probably the best social platforms like Twitter, Facebook. I've got Instagram, but on, on everything, I'm very lucky that it's consistently logo geek. So if you search for lag geek, you can find me on pretty much anything.
That's great. Well, thank you so much for coming on here, man.
Hey, you're very welcome. Thanks for inviting me on. Hopefully it's been useful for people
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