The Futur Founder Chris Do | How to communicate your value and get known | Awwwards San Francisco



I just wanna let you know about a couple
of things one there's two forms of stealing bad stealing is when you take
from one source and good stealing is when you take from many sources and I
know that because they stole that from Austin Kleon okay so I kind of picture
myself as a modern-day Robin Hood I steal from the information rich and I
give it to you the time poor and that's how we do this and like many of you I
have a humble dream I have a little dream that I too want to be a Silicon
Valley billionaire right but not that kind of billionaire more like the jason
silva billionaire which isn't your wealth isn't measured by what's in your
bank account it's measured by the lives that you touch on planet earth and I
want to be a billionaire so badly in that kind of way so in essence my
business is to help people learn how to value themselves and how to communicate
their value to others and this isn't just a pie in the sky dream it's not a
fantasy because I know that a dream with the plan is a goal and that's the
formula a dream with the plan is a goal so I want to let you know what the
definition of my goal is what success looks like what I want to be able to do
is to create a platform that provides education from all no matter where you
come from no matter how old you are or how young you are and that means that we
need to make education really affordable something that we're working on every
single day and we want to be able to attract the
best teachers because when you have the best teachers the best students show up
and they attract the best teachers again and we want to be able to embrace
technology and drag education out of the 19th century and bring it to the 21st
century and that means it will also be inventing new pedagogical models it's
the theory of teaching right and if we were do a ballista by-product of what
we're going to be able to do the byproduct or a success will be to
disrupt the education system that's what we want to do my hope because my
youngest boy is here he's up front he's 13 years old now so by the time he's 18
we'll have built a truly viable to the current education system that
exists okay good I'm making sure the slides are right there okay so over the
last five years I've been experimenting with this education platform building
our audience I want to share some of the lessons that we've learned and how we
were able to escape the system and in doing so we've been able to grow our
company 300 percent year-over-year since 2014 and if all goes well if all goes
according to the plan we will never work with another client ever again that's
the dream you guys that's the dream I wish it for all of you if that's
possible okay so the focus of my talk today is
really about how to grow your audience how to gain influence and to get known
because people hire people that they know like and trust okay but before I do
that I just want to share with you my short origin creation story I love
teaching nothing makes me feel more life than
teaching and on occasion my wife would accompany me at school and she would sit
in class and she's a designer too and as soon as class is over I'm very eager to
get in the car with them really looking forward to the part cuz when we drive I
get to ask her so give me the feedback how was I cuz you've you know anything
about Asian women they're not shy to tell you how they really feel and
there's no sandwich technique it's all meet in the middle okay so I dared to
ask her even though I know what's coming and driving I'm like so what do you
think how was class today and so the long drive from Pasadena to Santa Monica
it's a long time you guys and she said well you know you're really good at
teaching it's amazing to watch you teach but there's that word but she became a
butthole right there but do you ever get tired of teaching the same thing over
and over again do you think you want to teach more people than the eleven
students who can afford to pay this very high education if I'm being honest she
says to me I'm not sure you're living up to your potential you could hear my teeth grinding right
when I tell that story not my potential like what what you know I started
feeling all kinds of things but didn't say anything was just driving turn up
the volume a little bit on the radio I was getting angry frustrated and
resentful inside and I was thinking you know at this point in time in my life
had already been teaching for 15 years at Art Center a very prestigious design
school the one that I went to so what do you mean I'm not living up to my
potential then I started to realize I was slipping into the five stages of
grieving some people don't know so I'm gonna show you you go through denial in
isolation you feel angry you start to bargain you want to make deals with
people you get really depressed and then finally if you're smart enough you just
accept I got let you know if you're curious acceptance has a very bitter
taste to it so I'm gonna give you guys a low-tech life act right now which is
whenever you're facing something an idea scares you just skip steps 1 through 4
just go straight to accept and yes ma'am can have another okay so she was she put
his inception this idea inside my mind but I didn't know how to do this I was
so used to doing it a certain way I knew she was right I just didn't know how
so luck would have it a few months later I was at a meeting and I ran into an old
friend of mine and my spider-sense was really tingling this old friend was
classmate from school and the event happened not quite like this it's not as
dramatic but I didn't know it at the time but he would later on become my
mentor and then my nemesis and that's how these stories go right his name is
Jose and he's like Christo let's start an education company together it's like
you want this too and I want this maybe we should join forces and try this thing
out and see what happens he says okay we're gonna make products we're gonna
sell products but in order to do that we have to get onto YouTube you know the
top of the funnel awareness what top of the funnel awareness
we're gonna make videos that's how people are gonna to know was and then
they'll buy our products and I felt funny about it for a lot of different
reasons because at this point in time my life I'm used to being behind the camera
not in front of the camera and I started to rationalize and think it through like
the pros and cons like a dutiful Asian person like what are we gonna do I
thought to myself you know I'm gonna go out there I'm gonna look like a fool and
I didn't know what I'm gonna say and lame but even care and I had a lot
riding on the line because at that point we probably were about 18 years into our
business and had clients who might see something and me to say it and offend
them that would be really really bad so as far as I can tell lots of risk low
upside potential what am I gonna do so I went searching for answers sought the
advice of the Oracle you know Twitter Twitter told me that there's some
searching and I came upon this tweet from Jeff Bezos failure intervention are
inseparable twins in order to do something new we must be willing to fail
we must be willing to lose it all and everything seems so uncertain unclear at
that point I was thinking to myself your name is Chris doe it's not Chris don't
ya all right thank you guys you're very generous all right and saying yes in
this moment changed my life forever so I just want to let you guys know that's
what your courage is for so when something is really scary you should say
yes lose it all yes scared to death yes just say yes
unless it's the typology iPod challenge then say no but everything else say yes
well not for the hot water challenge either that you say no okay yes I know I
know okay so here are things I've learned so I just won't let you guys now
this is the time when the photos might get going okay so here's the first part
networking is who you know right networking who you know but influence is
who knows you and this is part we want to focus on how to get people to
oh you and I love this quote I think is from John Maxwell he says to be an
interesting person you have to be interested in people so you have to get
to know people if you want people to know you so the first rule is stop
selling start serving this was key to the biggest breakthrough in our channel
at that point in time we had about 1,300 subscribers and this is one thing that I
learned that you know the Internet is a vast free media playground it's the
first mass communication platform that wasn't specifically invented to sell
advertising so the rule is social media is not a license to spam and back then
we just made videos to sell our products so nobody tuned in nobody cared because
it was a thinly disguised commercial so what we need to do is when we make
videos we need to inform or entertain and if you can do both you're doing
really good so people want help they want you to help them improve their
lives so do something to improve their lives so this is the first time where I
actually sat down wrote a piece of content with no other purpose than to
improve people's lives to teach them something that I knew so we didn't sell
and what happened was the views went up people tuned in they started to care and
then slowly but surely this video became the number one search result for
identity design and a top 10 search result for branding ok so if you don't
tune into anything else this is the part you probably want to pay attention to
the rest of it just supports this ok there's just four little rules here be
consistent that means you show up every single day and give it your best you be
professional to give generously with zero expectations of anybody
reciprocating anything to you and lastly be respectful of people's
times so whatever you make consider that they're giving you their most valuable
resource their time now we all know this every company here has customers but the
few great companies have an audience now here's the difference between an
audience and a customer ok that in order to get customers to pay
attention you have to pay them to pay attention whereas an audience is excited
to give you their TNA their time and attention it's also known as a true fan
Kevin Kelley's definition of a true fan is somebody will buy anything from you
that's it and all you need is the thousand true fans to give you $100 to
have a six-figure income yeah it's not that hard guys 1,000 true
fans oh you guys are like that's pretty hard I'm sorry I'm being insensitive
right now I'm sorry okay and they'll buy anything that you make here's a couple
other ways you can test to see if they're true fans one is to drive over
200 miles or 322 kilometers to come see you speak or out of concert I just want
to give a shout out to Chelsea out here from Newcastle Australia right they'll
buy your book your ebook and your audiobook of the same book right they'll
pay for the video compilation of the videos you already give out for free
that is the true fan a true fan will shoot another true fan watching you and
send it to you which is pretty crazy and if you could tell this is an Oslo Norway
what are the odds that two fans are riding the same train in doing this
pretty cool so what you need to do in exchange for their time and attention is
to give tremendous value and when you do that something awesome happens so this
was a joke started out as a joke people started saying I feel guilty for
watching the videos I feel like I cheated
so this hashtag began hashtag 10% and this kid on Twitter reached out to me
said Chris I want to be the first person to send you 10% uncle Chris we're gonna
take care of you and he said it's not a lot of money I don't think much of it
except for one day I get this envelope and it opened up and sure enough it was
a cheque it was a tiny amount I go home and tell my wife honey you just won't
believe what happened if you look at what's in the hot side this envelope you
may cry she tears all open I hope she looks at it it's like oh my god
did you see what he wrote in the memo I'm
now if you look in there I'd even see that part I was just focused on the
$12.50 the memo says for a better life then she tells me you can't keep this
check the kid is sending you a 12-pound 50-cent check send it back to him
cancel this I said I can't do that what an insult that would be like that's not
enough for me so I cashed it okay all right here's nothing you need to know
that marketing isn't about selling it's the generous act of helping other people
achieve their goals and not your role it's the generous act of helping other
people achieve their goals it's an opportunity to serve and the way that
you can do this is you can ask yourself a couple of questions who are they
what are their hopes and fears what did they dream of becoming what change do
they seek now you can even do this if you're if you got a really boring job
like an insurance broker look at this note here I paid your parking meter for
you imagine what else I'm willing to do to protect our car that to me is
somebody who understands the customer okay now I know that I'm speaking to a
large UX UI design community you guys know about empathy graphs and with the
maps you know how to do this kind of stuff so once you identify who these
people are look for the gaps okay use sorry I go too fast there we go
use use all your creative energy your curiosity empathy and imagination
identify the task the gap and the opportunity it would look something like
this okay you go through their life day in
their life and you write down everything they're trying to do that day at home
and at work and you try to imagine like what's getting in their way of achieving
this this is the gap and then use the rest of it to write down ideas that you
can generate now you could use this for anything for marketing you could use to
develop products physical or otherwise now I will let you guys know how we
found our audience so the first part is this we knew that there are a lot of
really young charismatic people on YouTube they're largely inexperienced
and they didn't have any real knowledge but they were very charismatic then we
knew that there celebrated designers who are too busy
and too indifferent to get onto YouTube because that was beneath them but they
were professional and they had the experience so immediately we saw that
gap we could fill that gap the second part we saw is this is that teachers
want the best students they want to make a difference because that's why they got
into teaching in the first place not to make money they want relevancy they want
to develop intellectual property and build a passive income if possible and
they want some flexibility do I have to show up today or can I do this remotely
students want something very similar if you can see the two they almost line up
students want the best teachers they want to get a job they want the most
relevant content and get the highest return on investment and they also want
some flexibility we're gonna fill that gap ok next point people don't fall in
love with corporations you're gonna do this some audience participation of this
next part people fall in love with ok it's not a unanimous crowd here I heard
people people fall in love with gaps that was kind of meta ok I don't know
about that ok people don't fall in love with corporations they fall in love with
personalities ok so you need to find your voice you gotta find your voice and
I love this bit right so you guys know who Hasan Minhaj is he has to show a
Netflix Patriot Act it's amazing so I was watching the show and he's talking
about something I was like this is genius it's complete genius he puts up
his face as a pie chart he says those who doesn't know me know that I'm 65%
hip-hop and that the 17% the rest of me is really about hair products and
mid-90s NBA references and intense eye contact I've seen what a wonderful way
to define your own personal brand in your voice and there was something
really interesting because it was the first time I saw a mainstream comedian
talk about his brown culture going to UC Davis and hating UC Santa Cruz and
bringing in some hindi I think and doing the whole uncle thing and I loved it
so when I watched him he gave me permission to be myself to embrace you
and all the weird parts about you because the truth is people out there
are searching for belonging and they're trying to find their tribe so I thought
maybe I should try it on my own self there's my head what's that look like so
68% Swiss modern typography you know 18% snapback caps that's the lads gotta go
11% skin care products designer eyewear and point zero one percent hair product
my sounds like that you don't use hair products that's why the point zero one
and you could use this for so many different things right 68 percent
Helvetica now 18 percent champion Gothic feature bold in and everything else so I
want to encourage you to make your own face chart and figure it out so I'm
gonna help you out and give you some prompts okay one is think about the
things that you're really passionate about that pretty much makes the entire
face chart for a son what are your physical attributes the weird things
that people say dude you remind me of that that's what you write down your
history where you come from your ethnicity all the parts that you were
kind of ashamed of when you're a kid celebrate now what skills do you have
what are you good at and what makes you quirky the things that make you not
normal make you unique in the world and then use that as a voice or creation
filter when you make something push it through that funnel and see what comes
out I have some examples to share with you my son writes mean there's no dad
can you snuggle later when mommy goes to sleep and calls you yeah I could do that
but I could turn this into a Twitter post instead so use mark it up
that's my filter right I'm a dad a typographer and in a nut job why not
write and then I love these like little Massimo Vignelli's Canon things right
and I'm searching on Pinterest for these things and they're poorly designed
Massimo would be turning over in his grave so I redesigned them in the spirit
of Massimo so forever if you do it right it will last forever and a great is like
underwear you wear it but it's not it's not to be exposed and then I started to
take that and so to take Paul Rand posters and just put his thoughts and
the design is so simple that's why it's okay
complicated right I can't even read this one what is they don't try to be
original just try to be good so when you do these things sometimes you agitate
other designers and I like to do it on purpose so the two most hated typefaces
you guys know what's come in comic sans I have my intern work on him from month
and a half to design me a poster didn't suck using Comic Sans there it is right
for the matrix and it's like what's the other one papyrus yes you guys know you
want to say what you won't say it witty will he go there yes I did go there
papyrus you know just to agitate emotions because I want to push buttons
okay so that means I'm not afraid to be polarizing so here are the four traits
of being an attractive character you guys ready
here we go one you have to have a compelling backstory that's why I told
you mine too you have to have character flaws obviously three are the parables
the stories that you use to teach lessons in and the last one the one that
people struggle with the most is to be polarizing you have to take a stand and come on okay you have to be able to take
that risk and stand for something because what you do when you're
polarizing is you incite people's passions you stir their emotions you
fire people up you get them to do something so I love this campaign from
from Nike it's only a crazy dream until you do it with Serena Williams and Colin
Kaepernick but leave in something even if it means sacrificing everything and
then of course the Avengers infinity version of that which is believe in
something even it means sacrificing half of everything right
it's that good okay sorry spoiler alert okay all right here we go so what you
want to do is get people to choose a side are you on Team Apple yes or team
PC hmm okay are you a Marvel person or a DC person are you a new house core test
person or Helvetica now person you see there's dilemmas choices to be made what
you don't want to do is to be stuck in the middle because the middle is boring
it's bland its generic and nobody cares people are indifferent about the middle
love me hate me I for one of the other okay now here's an
example I don't know if you guys are aware of Wendy's the Twitter account
savage savage okay turns out that Amy Brown was doing the
tweets and she started noticing that McDonald's and the competitors were very
corporate mumbo jumbo talk and these tweets went viral because it was so
refreshing because it was not corporate so let me share some of those with you
relationship advice right ah I want Wendy's but my girlfriend wants
McDonald's what do I do Randy's response they're playing a fish
in the sea okay I know it's brutal gross okay here
we go McDonald's is better at freezing beef
retroactively story telling those guys my workshop okay why is your beef square
because we don't cut corners so good so good right right okay going to in and
out what should I get out oh my god here's the last one I think this is the
last one like so this is Eric he's like I hope every person who ever thought I
would fail sees this he's got he's proud he's got his seat warmers he's got the
McDonald's bag okay and then when he says back looks at the logo on bag you
failed right it's great so if you want to get known take a side choose a lane
and commit to it it'll be okay okay so I love this from dr. Jordan Peterson he
says to think you have to risk being offensive
that's what critical thinking is the friction that exists between what you
think and what I think that's where it exists okay
now the best place to find is critical thinking is troll universe Twitter it is
the best place so I'm going to share with you my content strategy okay this
is where people just engage in vitriolic debate it does even matter if they know
you're not okay here's the content strategy I've been using this and it's
been awesome so far okay what I want to do is try an idea out so I'll write
something on Twitter if forces we need to write in really condensed format and
I sit around like a person who's fishing I'm waiting for the trolls to come out
attack it what they do is they help you write your own thought that you
shouldn't say this you should say this and this is the wrong choice of words
and use watch and you engage and then you take the new
learning and you retweet it back out and if it works again what I then do is I
take that I turn into a graph I could post on Facebook and LinkedIn I write
more about it and if that works I'm gonna go and record a video so all I'm
doing is converting one kind of energy to another and you don't have to write a
video like you like Pablo said you can write a medium post and save your career
and I just I want to remind you about this okay
conversations are supposed to be direction bi-directional meaning you put
something out and you react so we're having that dialogue so many people get
this wrong they put something out in the universe and they don't read anything
don't respond to anything that's not a conversation so read the comments
they'll tell you what they want from you okay here's the strategy for long-form
content okay so we do a lot of long-form content take a big piece of content chop
it up into tiny little pieces put that out everywhere on every platform and see
what bites see what people engage with you can even ask them to timestamp the
video so that you know what they're reacting to now what you want to do is
reframe that possibly re-edit it and put a new title on it based on what people
connect with that's the formula you just do that over and over again and then
when you have a video that you think is hot spend a little bit of money and
boost it to like audiences people who like this like this all right well I'm
at a time okay I'm gonna rush through this last part here so what we want to
do is to out teach the competition because big companies are obsessed with
secrecy that is the old way to do it you don't want to be the best kept secret in
Silicon Valley for sure okay so give them the tour of the factory and
insiders peak take them behind the scenes and show them how the sausage is
made they'll become your true fans I'm gonna give you an example here I was in
a W Hotel in Taipei I made a video in their branding it was great I have
nothing to do with their branding but we are the number one search result when
you type in W Hotel branding for video ok think like a chef okay chefs
literally give away all their secrets so what are your recipes secret sauce
mystery ingredient teach people how to make what you make and this could look
like research reference drawings plans sketches interviews photography journals
notebooks down those diagram scrapbooks
how-to-videos what you want to do is to start writing your cookbook okay but
then you sit there and say well I have nothing to say what I'm gonna do well
then you've heard this expression teach what you know and then you get into this
existential crisis and say well it is knowing anyways right so that could be
daunting like I don't know that really how could I teach that so let's revise
the phrase teach while you learn now everybody can do that teach while you
learn it's a little while ago we launched a typography course and to my
amazement $149 course did six figures during the launch and here's the thing
days before I would do each recording each lecture I would just read just
enough so I didn't sound like an idiot and nobody has complained okay here's
the thing experts forget the struggle they skip
over the important steps everything is so easy for them but the beginner's mind
said teaching while you learn you're curious you're more relatable you're
honest you're transparent you make discoveries and you create artifacts you
rediscover it again with your audience while you sharing with them and they're
very gracious when you tell them that upfront okay see progress not perfection
because we know that perfection can paralyze because big ideas take a long
time to make and we need the help of others to make them happen we need money
we need resources and it's very hard to start and I love this from South Koda
and he says whoever fails the most wins you want to play the game forever for as
long as possible by making small Gamble's so make tiny decisions it's
easier to change course and guess what there's no catastrophic ending if you
get it wrong so here's the just to rule applied the just to rule okay it goes
something like this just to the sign just to the car just to the light post
set small milestones and hit them progress is contagious and momentum is
built that means that you can take a 1:12 beat project and turn it into 12
one-week projects almost down here summary here we go
you guys will watch a channel you know how to do this okay here we go so you
didn't need to take any other slides here we go help others achieve their
goals don't sell an audience is greater and
more valuable than customers treat them accordingly to become an attractive
character you must be willing to risk to being polarizing and while the other
ones are hoarding their secrets you share all of your seekers out teach the
competition teach while you learn write your cookbook today and see progress not
perfection now it's an amazing time to be alive
because there are no more gatekeepers no more middle managers and there's no
better time to be alive I'm going to send you off there's still some middle
managers I got it okay I'm gonna close out with Gary Vaynerchuk and he said
that ideas are worthless execution is the game thank you very much everybody

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