For a lot of people, anxiety particularly around putting yourself out there and building your personal brand online, can lead to paralysis and a life of standing still. Letting and business life pass you by while you wait for the perfect time to take action is a powerful recipe for a future filled with regret. It's also exactly what life looks like for a lot of people.
But if you're reading and thinking that building online influence and a massive following is only for the alpha's then think again. Ian Paget joins me this week on the podast to tell me how he built logogeek while struggling with social anxiety. He's a fantastic role model and a great case study in how ordinary people can do extraordinary things online - if they just take the first steps and start.
Ian Paget is a graphic designer, best known as Logo Geek. He designs logos and brand identities for clients, but also hosts a popular podcast, blog and community all under the name of Logo Geek. With over 15 years experience, he has been featured in publications including Logo Lounge, Photoshop Creative and Net Magazine. He's also a frequent member of the jury for design awards including; Transform Awards, Best Brand Awards and Logo Wave to name a few.
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For a lot of people, anxiety, particularly around putting yourself out there and building a personal brand online. Can lead to paralysis and a life of standing still, letting life pass you by, waiting for the perfect time to take action is a powerful recipe for a life of regret. It's also exactly what life looks like for a lot of people. But if you're listening, thinking that building your online influence on a massive following is only for the Alphas, then think again.
Ian Padgett joins me this week on the podcast to tell me how he built Logo Geek while struggling with social anxiety. He's a fantastic role model and a great case study in how ordinary people can do extraordinary things online if they just take the first steps and start. Hi there. And welcome back to Amplify the Digital Marketing Entrepreneur podcast. I'm Bob Gentle and every week I'm joined by amazing people who share what makes their business work. If you're new to the show, then take a second right now to subscribe so you don't miss new episodes and you can grab some older ones when you're done with this one.
Don't forget to join our Facebook community to visit Amplify Me, Dot F.M. private slash insiders and you'll be taken right there. So welcome along. And let's meet Ian. So this week, I'm delighted to welcome Ian Padgett to the show in. Runs a Web site called Local Geek Dot Com. Ian, welcome to the show. Hey, Bob, it's really great for being on here. Thanks for inviting me. It's my pleasure.
I think I've I've met you a couple of times and never really had the time to sit down and speak to you. So this is. Yeah.
Looking forward to it. Because, yeah, we've we've met quite a few times at events. But we we it's always been when there's been so much going on. So it's nice to actually stop and chat properly.
Yes. So your business is called local geek dot com. Why don't you tell us a little bit about. Usually I ask people to toss me a little bit about who they are, where they are and the kind of work you do. So let's start there.
Sure. Well, I mean, you can ask me to go into more detail, but as a high level point of view, locally, it started out originally as a hobby. But now it's my my full time business. And it's offering logo design and graphic design services to clients. But then there's another part of it where I, I work on a community and a podcast specifically for other designers, because I've always been really passionate about logo design, branding and so on, say.
Ironically, the name logo geek works for both sides of that. I can go into the whole detail of how I started it and everything if you wanted me to. But I'll let you steer the conversation. I want all of that.
So I think we're I guess to maybe expand on what you were talking about there. I work with lots of people in lots of different kinds of businesses, and a lot of the time I'm telling them to do what you've done. And it's often very difficult to paint a picture of the impact that can have. So I would like to really look at your story, because I think it's a brilliant case study of a creative person that could easily have just gone to work in an agency or set up his own agency and bumbled along the bottom.
Same as everyone else. But you haven't done the same thing as everyone else. You've done something actually quite courageous. So knowing you, you're quite an introverted person.
Yeah, I am. Yeah, very much so.
So to put yourself out there and the way that you've done is is very courageous. And I would probably having examined everything you've done, no use you as a case study when I'm talking to clients. So I would like you to tell your story. So if you maybe put before Facebook groups before. Yeah. Just what did your life look like then?
Okay. So, well, I've been a graphic designer for quite a length of time. I didn't actually study graphic design at university, but it was something that I really wanted to get into. So I think as a starting point in terms of the story of how I let where I am today, it's probably worth explaining how I got my first job as a graphic designer. They obviously went to school. I was really interested in art and design. I then moved on to college in the UK, which the game was focused on, on maybe art based topics, but none of it included graphic design.
I didn't have any knowledge at that point of all of the softwares like the A Day B suite, which is one at the industry standard tools. So in terms of leaving education, I didn't have any of the skills that's needed. And I do remember my careers advisor at college basically telling me that it's impossible to do what I want to do unless I do go on to further education. But I'm the youngest of quite a big family. I mean, split between two families.
I'm actually the youngest of 10 children. And my my daddy was. He is. He would be in his nineties now if he was still alive. But he always told me, you know, all my other kids, they didn't go to university. So you won't. So I never had any expectations going to university. I why plan today was finished college at 18, go out there and find a job. And I wasn't that motivated to get anything in particular.
I probably would've been happy working in a in a supermarket, but I did, you know, kind of persist looking for something that was creative. And I was quite lucky early on to get a print finished job. So rather than working on the graphic design side of it, it was within within a small company that would take the work that they was doing that they would print off. And then. Finish it off. So that was kind of like my my entry point into saying what other seen how graphic design work.
They had a couple of guys in in their team. And I realized quite early on and I would have been about 18 at that point that I didn't want to do the print finisher stuff. It was using scalpels, knives, carrying stuff. It was it was quite labor intensive. And it wasn't what I wanted to do. I wanted to do the other side effect. And I used to ride a moped to that job, had an accident on it.
And it meant that I just needed to find the first job that I could. And I don't actually believe in fate. I don't. But I mean, if I did believe in fate, that would be one moment in my life that kind of stared me in and the direction because what I needed to do was leave that job and get the first job I could. I still would live with my parents at that point and basically got the job at the first place I could.
So I asked my friend and I got a job as a warehouse in a warehouse, not why I wanted to do it. It was a job, you know. I got paid money. I was planning to stay there temporarily and look for something else. And because I was already working for someone else, I. I had my interview really late at that company. I think it was about six p.m. and rather than having it with the warehouse manager, it was with.
I can't remember what her title was, but the second down from CEO in in a big international company. And I believe I told her I would like to work in graphic design at some point, but at the moment I want to do this job so that I, I can improve my teamwork, building skills. You know, I, I made something up just to try and get the job. And I do remember her writing that down and. I was in that warehouse job for I can't remember how long it was, maybe six months, and I got invited to work in their office department in in.
It was called product support and education. And a very small percentage of what they did as a team was what could be deemed as graphic design. So I got I got moved into that team. Lots of it was admin type stuff like booking hotels, basically support in the international sales team. And I was not very good at that. Like like you said early on. I've always been quite an introverted person. Say to me, when the telephone used to ring, I felt sick and I was just I was just so nervous.
So I failed miserably at that. But what I was very good at, what they recognized I was good at was helping with the leaflets and the posters. At that point, what they did as a company was almost like stick stick drawings just to show you how these products would be laid out. But because it was something I really wanted to do and I was really excited about it. I'd never used any of the software before, but I was given a really old Mac and a reasonable P.C. and it had the software on it.
And what I would do is I'd I'd go home every evening and try and work out how to do these things, you know, and then I go back in the next day and show what I've learned. And I started to cobble together some basic knowledge of of graphic design. And after my three month, was it three months or three weeks, I had a trial period. I think it might've been three weeks. They saw potential in me and they gave me a full time position within that team.
And what I didn't realize that company, what they would do is that team would basically make stuff up and send a writer a freelancer. Now, I didn't know that. So when I got given a leaflet for print, I did the whole thing from start to finish and it was all print ready. And obviously, that saved the company a lot of money. I mean, bear in mind, I was I was a young guy. I was probably about 19 at that point.
I would have been on minimum wage. I would have been paid much at all. And I probably saved them thousands of pounds. So they were kind enough to do this collaboration with the local print company. So where they got all that brochures and stuff printed, I could go there every week for an hour, for a number of weeks and just go go there and ask questions. So I would just go there and be like a sponge. And I was in that company for about five years.
I, I developed scale. So by the end of that five year period, I went from knowing nothing about graphic design to being able to do product illustration, proper print, ready artwork for print. We had a photo studio. It developed from like I said, it was 10 percent graphic design team. But that team in a five year period went from being almost like a proper in-house graphic design team. And I was key to that development at that point.
But yeah. So I moved on from there. I went to as a web design agency, and I would deem that as a proper graphic design job, you know, working for lots of different companies. I was thrown in the deep end and it was actually at that company where the occasional project was a logo, but not enough that I could ever get really good.
So it was mostly web design.
But then like once a month or once every two months, you get a project come along. And I always enjoyed that. And in the at the medical company I mentioned, I used to really love the product illustration. That was my favorite thing. I would have happily had become a full on illustrator. So there was a number of skills I enjoyed and that that's kind of where the in terms of the skill set came from. But on the side of my job, what I've always done from from day one is create projects for myself to get really stuck and and to develop my skills.
Say when I was a college, I used to do a lot of like I wanted it to be a fantasy illustrator at that point. So I used to write stories and drawings. But that opened up a door to something else that I used to go to this club in the local town for children where they could make games and movies and stuff. So I used to volunteer there, but that all the work I was doing on the books and stuff just for fun.
I was showing that to the guys that run that. And at that point, they were animators. Now they're game developers. And, uh, I, I wanted to get involved with what they were doing.
They just started making apps. That was something that I was interested in it. It used a lot of the skills that was in my full time job. And I showed them some bits and we started building. I mean, I did a few game backgrounds, did a few menus and things for somebody apps. But they come back to me and said, Ian, we love working with you. If you ever have a good idea, come to us.
So I pitched this game to them. I came up with the whole concept. It had a whole plan of how it could work, and they thought it was a great idea. So all of us together in our own spare time kind of fun started working on this game. It was eventually pitch T to lingo, which is run by E.A. Games. So it's a huge company and we worked on that project for a long time. It was about over a four year period.
But what that got me into was the habit of going to work and then coming home working on something, working over the weekends. You know, any time I had some spare time, I'd I'd work on this huge project. So it was doing animations. It was doing character, characters, backgrounds, all sorts of stuff. It was great fun. I really I really enjoyed that. But yeah, I go into the routine of working. So when that project was done, I remember saying I never want to do any big project that, hey.
It was exhausting. It was it was tough because I at that point at the end of that four year period, I, I was in that web design job, I'd been promoted to director. So it was quite a demanding job. But then I was coming home and also working. So I was doing a lot. I felt really stretched. I felt quite burned out. So I did actually say I don't want any I don't want to do anymore projects.
But then a short period of pass pass by, I think it might have just been like two weeks or months, something like that. And I, I had that bug like I really wanted to work on something. I felt like I had a bit of a rest. Now I want something new. I just don't want a long term project. And a friend mentioned to me in your really to logo design because like I said, I did the occasional logo in my full time job.
I was I was really good at illustration and I thought, that sounds good. I like logo design. I've got a strong interest in it and I wanted to learn more about it. And at that time, I didn't want to turn into a business. This was just for fun. So I'd learn a bit of SCA knowledge. The agents they worked on, you need when you worked for Web Design Agency, you just pick up all this stuff from different teams.
So I wanted to have I wanted to set up a website where I could post what I was learning and chefs share some of the work I've done. And I remember writing down lists and lists the lists of domain names. Now there's loads of available domains. But at this point, there was only the dot coms and the dot credit you. You needed to choose from there. And I wanted logo or logo design and some way to be in the domain because at that point that was one of the ranking factors for SCA was not anymore.
I mean, that's all irrelevant now. But I write down hundreds of names, all sorts of different things. One of them was Logi. So I went through this list. Not available. Not available, not available. Not available. And I literally was expecting that one to be gone. But the doctor UK was available for like a gig. Katie KDKA. There wasn't any strategy behind it. It was just the domain was free. I've always been a big nerd.
I've always gone to Comic-Con. Uh, yeah. I just I am a big gay. Like shouter from Big Bang Theory, so I don't know. It kind of I thought, yeah, that could d r register. That is a good day. I mean, Dakoda, UK didn't cost much there, like I think it was like six pounds then for the whole year it was reasonably cheap and that's kind of how that that started. So I just started now and again working on this website.
It wasn't real, like a real focus, but I found once I built that website and and I was sharing with other people that I was doing this thing. I got a couple of friends for a couple of projects from friends. I didn't charge much at all. I think like 50 pounds or a hundred pounds back then, which is really cheap for a like a buy to take on these projects. I stick them on my website and then like old work colleagues, I don't really speak to anymore.
They started getting in touch and then I think it was the result of just posting things and sharing it on social media. Čunek I expect I unexpectedly got an email from someone I didn't know and that wasn't something I ever planned or ever expected. I didn't even think real people would look at my website. So I actually had spelling mistakes on it. There was parts, but that didn't work. It was just a website thrown together for fun in in in WordPress.
And yeah, I got I got that first client and that that was a big moment because that really opened up this thing and like, oh my God, I can actually make some extra money from this. I, I, I felt at that time I was paid reasonably well and my full time job. So doing this sort of thing, it's like I if I want that games console I can buy that games console. If I want to go on a holiday I can you know, it's opened up this.
I just saw the money, it was great. And say, yeah, that's when I started it. But with more focus on the website, I started to post frequently on Facebook at first. Then I mean you. David to Twitter, and then I started getting invited because of the work I was doing on Twitter in particular, I was posting daily and interacting with people. My audience started to grow on there. So I start to get invited on juries.
And because I was invited on juries, I was getting back links and it just kind of started a domino effect. I started to get more inquiries coming in, getting more calls. And it got to a point where this was probably about eight years ago when I first started it, but it got to a point where it just got ridiculous. I be at work and my full time job and my phone would be ringing, you know, clients or I.
I'd get loads of emails coming in. And I, I went over a long period of time not knowing which direction to go. I might. My goal as a as an individual was always to work for other people and to always claim the corporate ladder and, you know, to say so to improve my portfolio may be work for a London design agency and it may become like a proper creative director and, you know, go up the ranks and in the agency world.
But it just because of this whole Lego gig thing blowing up. I got to a point where I felt like I needed to choose between the two. I kept choosing work because it's like that's what I wanted to do. But then I couldn't give up the other thing. So I was always in this, like, debt, you know, like I can pecky that one. And it was it was horrendous. But what I ended up doing and it was for personal reasons why I ended up doing it, my, uh, my my mom, she died of vascular dementia.
So I saw the effects of dementia and and age. And I would go and see her in a care home. And I got to this point where I I didn't want to regret anything, you know, and I don't want a great regret anything in life. Say, that's why I decided, you know what? I'm gonna hand in my notice. Say I handed in my notice. They they offered part time. I accepted part time. That was a great deal.
So I did that for three years. Fast forward three years. Back in January this year, I decided, you know what? I'm I'm ready for this. I'm going full time. Say say now here today I'm full time doing this. I got my podcast, got my community working on all sorts of stuff for, like, a geek. And I'm I have absolutely no no regrets. I I've just got Cambridge, the University of Cambridge as a client on my own, which is phenomenal to work on a legacy project, which I never thought would happen.
And I'm making more money than what I yeasty, which is amazing. And I'm just at this point now where. I'm realizing that I can control my destiny completely, and I'm like, I want to do a magazine series, I want to do like books, I want to do a training course. I got loads of ideas, but that's that's pretty much the of how I got to that. And I'm happy to go into more detail in in any particular area, if you want me to hear.
I think to risk a Big Bang Theory quote, all of that from the effect effectively fun with flags.
Yeah. That's fine.
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I've literally said that before, like, oh dear God, I am basically like real life showered and I built fun with logos by ten interior business. I, I honestly feel like a geek as a company name would ever be taken seriously say. So to be able to work with serious clients now and, and to get so many inquiries and to be, you know, seen as someone who's influential as a graphic designer and to be taken seriously by so many people is just phenomenal.
I never expected I thought I would have to create a separate brand and but yeah, like a geek is. And it's doing well for me at the moment.
I think there's a couple of places I would like to explore with you. And the first one is the Facebook group, because you didn't mention that. But you have a massive Facebook group and everybody kind of assumes if you want to be big on social media, you have to be there extrovert, confident, constantly blowing your own trumpet. But that's just not you. So I'm curious to understand how the Facebook group came about, how you grew it or how it grew.
You show. Okay. Well, I think it needs a little bit of backstory because the Facebook group, it just didn't come out of nowhere, say, in terms of social media, bashed on it with Brushtail for my story.
But I originally started posting stuff on Facebook because I thought if I if I share things to do with logo design on Facebook, I get clients. But that didn't work. I just got followed by other graphic designers. But I actually liked posting stuff. It was great. You know, I'm into graphic design. I liked finding resources and and reading it and then sharing what I was learning. It was like keeping a backlog of things I found. So I kept doing that.
I enjoyed it, even though it wasn't actually bring in any and any clients. So I felt that that never really served its purpose. But in my day job, I always said to the CEO and the company director, we really need to do social media marketing. I was really pushing it like they did everything else. They do all the cold calls or they're really pushy sales tactics on the phone. But they never did any of the social media marketing.
And I was learning a lot of lot, a lot about social media in my own time and and seeing the power of it in terms of, uh. Interacting with people and and, uh, getting your business out there. From a research perspective. So I saw the value in it. But anyway, because I kept banging on about they did an interview with someone that came in to work in the online marketing team. But this person, their real strength was growing, social media numbers say they they had thousands of followers on on Twitter.
I think they had like 50000 followers. And they was they was one of these early influences that if they took a picture of their trainers, the people would go out by their trainers. So they hired this girl. They put me in charge of her, which was outside of that marketing team. And together we came up with all these strategies and she was sharing with me tactics that worked on Twitter. And I thought, that's interesting. I wonder if that tactic would work for Low Jakic.
And I mean, it's kind of spammy now. But what that tactic was, was basically finding accounts similar to yours, following the people that would follow them and then use these other apps to to one follow the people that didn't follow back. It was really spammy. But I tried it just out. I just out of curiosity, I'm I'm always open to trying these things. But early Twitter days, you can't do it now. But early two days, if he if you clicked on someone's profile and you clicked who was following them, it would literally show you who just followed them.
So if you if he was to follow these people every day, those people were literally just online. So I, I saw it worked really well. Really, really, really well. So I made a rule that every single morning the first thing I would do would be post something relevant to logo designers and then find a number of other accounts and follow. Like there was a rule, it had to be under a certain amount. Otherwise you'd break the rules.
But I think it was like between 50 and 200 people. So you do that every morning as a routine, no matter what. And probably about 50 percent of those people followed back say the numbers on Twitter grew really fast early on. And that opened doors to other opportunities because people started to see me as an influencer. I don't do that. And now that that tactic doesn't work. I mean, it partly does. But I can explain more in detail if you want me, Teper.
Yeah, that doesn't really work now. But what I did do is early on allow my Twitter following to really grow really fast.
Is that nearly one hundred thousand? Now, Twitter is not as big as what used to be say. I don't see it growing that much more. But. Yes, so that that's the par one. So I built I gained a lot of following on Twitter, say the Facebook group, say. I started joining a couple of Facebook groups that came up online, and there was one in particular that was just amazing. I, uh, I don't know when Facebook groups really exploded, but.
Three or four years ago, I think it was maybe about three years ago. I saw that they were coming and growing in popularity and I drew up on my board a plan for everything I would like to do for like a geek. And. And on that list. Aside from client projects, was writing a book crate and training courses, creating some kind of community, maybe doing events. I write down all these things, and the common thread between all of these things was an audience.
And I thought in preparation of launching these things. Oh, yeah, that was a podcast on that list as well. I hadn't yet done that podcast and I thought in preparation of launching this thing, what I could do is maybe create a Facebook group. And then in like two years time, when I'm ready to launch this thing, maybe there would be a few hundred people in there. That was my mentality. I literally thought I'd set up it would sit there, be dormant for years, but maybe a few years later there might be some people in there.
But I created that group I posted on Twitter. And I think like 300 people joined in like the first hours. Ridiculous. And all these conversations started happening. And. It just went nuts. It was uncontrollable. To be honest, and it people kept joining and it kept growing. And I mean, it's it's pretty much continue to grow ongoing. But when one of the most important things, I think, with a Facebook group that I learned is that you have to moderate a properly.
Otherwise, they go downhill so fast, especially with with logo design. You got a few people that posts really bad stuff. I don't mean media. I don't mean slightly bad. I mean really bad. Like you say that they have absolutely zero capability. Once you get some of those in there, all the good people leave and go elsewhere. So you have to keep it, well, moderate. And so I just put in a few rules in place for how I think it could work ongoing and in terms of graphic design is definitely fit for logo design.
In particular, I feel it's the best quality. Grieb online that's free on Facebook. And then there's a couple of good graphic design. Great. But in terms of logo design as a special reality, I fell because of the CAF moderation. And yes, it's primarily to do with moderation. I feel that is gained a lot of respect. It gets mentions on things. Well, Patison, he's got a big YouTube channel and he did a shout out about the group at one point and that that brought in a few extra hundred people.
But yes, it's almost 10000 people now. I've got three and a half thousand people pending so that I need to go three. But yes, it's a lot of work full for relatively little return.
But I'm learning so much from those people and it's a good platform to promote other stuff as well.
So, yeah, you probably have people with big Facebook groups on the podcast before. I think you probably are towards the higher end. If not the largest group owner I've spoken to and I'm a big group doesn't happen by accident. Usually there are some key ingredients in place and one of them has to be your contribution. So I'm what. What are you actually putting into the group in terms of value yourself?
Okay, so it's changed over the years. When when a group is new, say say you create the group, you can get people in. Great people assume that once someone is join the group, they're going to be active. Actually, Facebook has weird algorithms where if you don't engage with that group, that person never sees they pay. Say what you need to do is not just get people in, but get people in and engaging with that content.
So there's been a few things I've been doing over the years. So the groups about three years, three or four years I. It's not a massively old group, but it to kind of kick started. So so the way I say is that you kind of build an engine, but you need take in a you get that engine going because eventually it becomes user generated content and it's basically a machine that just runs itself. And that that's the point is that now the I rarely pastern at the post are in there every single day is like eight percent active.
And it other than just keeping an eye on it and moderating it. I just kind of. A comment now and again, but I don't dare as much as I used to say, to kick start at the beginning. What I would do is post. Like a question or something. Something that people would engage with and interact with or a word, something that you can do in Facebook groups is do a shout out to the to the last one hundred people that join.
So you can tag them in a paste. Facebook does it pretty much automatically. So you could do a shout out, greet those people and encourage them to post and interact. And once they posted, then they start seeing, you know, the algorithms like, oh, yeah, you're interested in this. They start sharing that pass and more stuff. So she if you can get that initial post or the initial interaction from the person, then they're quite likely to stay in.
So we've done a lot of things like that. But I think one of one of the key things that allowed it to grow is that because I moderate really carefully. So it is a closed group. And so there's questions that need to be answered in order for the person to come in. I'm not overly fussy with the people that come in. They just have to be capable of answering the question. And it's amazing how many people are incapable of that.
So if they if they can't do that, they don't get in. If they give a quiet if they answer the question and you know, their response makes sense, then I'll let them in. I don't have a proper filter. That's literally my my metric for lame people. But I think that as a starting point, that helps to keep some kind of quality. I've got rules in place. Say, with logo design in particular, there's always historically been so much nonsense where people would post a logo and go, what do you think of this?
And you get these comments like, yeah, it's great, you know, that that's literally all of Laker design groups are. But with logo design in particular, you're not creating a pretty picture. So, I mean, something can look nice and you can evaluate the aesthetics. But if if you're going to create a proper group for logo design, then if in order to give feedback, you need to provide context. Say, who is the company here?
Are they competing with? Who are you aiming to target?
You know, all this sort of stuff. Say. I have post approvals turned on. That was something I was kind of forced to turn on early on because five designers were spam the group. But they get booted straight away if any of that's in there. But doing that a post.com. And if there's no contact, it gets deleted. So I'm filtering the that are coming in to with the expectation that they should provide context. And as far as I'm aware, this is the first graphic design group that someone has been that harsh.
I was really firm about it. So if people kept posting stuff and they wouldn't provide it, I'd I'd beat them from the group. No, no, no questions asked. It's just, you know, I don't want not integrate by delete it. You paste enough times. You need to learn in in in some way. So I've been quite firm in terms of how it's been moderated. I've got one other moderator that helps me that that just happens to be based in New Zealand.
Say we got the 12 hour difference and he's just as firm on it as as me. But yeah, I think that filtering the people coming in in the first place and filtering the pace and and getting rid of people that cause any issues or anything like that and and being firm on it, I think that helps, too, to. House for people that are more experienced to recognize that the group is properly moderated. So it it it you get the good people comment and you get the good people helping.
You get the good people advising. And people recognize that and they see that and they talk about it. It gets shared. And I think there's been a domino effect. And in that sense, the people recognize that as a kookery. Baseball moderated. So that helps. And then I've got the podcast from my on the podcast. Any other prior to this call I mentioned, I pretty much say yes to every single podcast because I've suffered from social anxiety and it helps with that.
So I mentioned everywhere. So I just think it's a mixture for these things. And now it's grown. It could easily be over 10000 by probably. If I said yes to everyone that came in, I think it would be well over 20000, but I've really been firm on making sure that people that are in there are either good or willing to learn. And I think that makes a big difference. No, I had a look earlier and it is over 10000 now.
I think that moderation moderation is where the value is. Yes. I think, as you said, if you don't have the context of the landscape that a logo or a brand is existing and it's impossible to really discriminate and understand how effective it's going to. Yeah, yeah. The competitive landscape for the brand existing is everything. Yeah. Yeah.
Yeah. I mean, I'd love I'd love it if they would provide more information by phone. If you're too strict, no one pays salaries in terms of as a general rule of thumb, as long as there's a little bit a letter in and people can ask questions which they do by I think. Sorry. It's something that I didn't add. But you you need to create a culture within the group. So like I said pre previously, no one was asking for context in groups, but because I was really pushing on air and being very firm when I and explaining the reason why it started, I started to see other people saying, can you provide more context?
You know, they were they were recognizing that I was doing doing it, learning from it, doing that. And now I've since seen actually had other moderators of other groups saying, Ian, the way that you're managing this is really good. I'm gonna to copy it. And I've actually seen other groups copy it. I, I, I can see that they've copied stuff from from the group, like the rules are the same.
So on base, it's amazing how you can once you kind of stand up for something and say, you know, it should be this way, how it creates the domino effect. So most decent graphic design groups are using this same model now, which is a good thing. I'm happy that people have taken note. So let's look at your podcast.
Sure. I think that I had a look earlier and it looks like it's been running for a couple of years now. Yeah. So set about right.
Yeah. So I started that in 2017. So this is about two and a half years, nearly three years now actually. And when I first started there, what I planned to do was just 10 episodes. So I mean, that was totally new for me. And and like I said, I've I've had therapy for social anxiety. So sitting down, recording and interviewing someone is absolutely petrifying. I work through that as a skill set. So I picked out names of people that inspired me, say they included people like David Airey, who's the author of a blog and a book called Logo Design Love.
I really wanted to him on. He hadn't previously actually done any podcast prior to that. I was surprised that he said yes to me. Aron Draft Plan. Allena Wheeler. Her book was one of my favourites on branding. Yeah. I just decided I'm gonna reach out to these people and do this podcast. I mean, that podcast didn't just die and nowhere I was I was invited on another show cause side gig cause I was speaking with a friend of mine online.
He built this business called Millo and he thought my thing was full time. I thought his thing was full time when we both found out that what we were doing was building a side gig. So he thought it would be fun to do a podcast on that. He managed to get a sponsor for it. He told me it wasn't much money. And yes, say the three of us, we did a 10 part season and there was no planning to.
We just got together. We wrote down a topic and we just spoke for an hour, recorded it, edited it and put it out there. So we did that. I was absolutely petrified doing that. Like there was actually points in it where the guys are saying, Ian, are you okay? And I went, I just need to pull myself together this. And I'm like, my heart's just racing. And there were three of us. So I kept getting to this point where I listened to the two guys speaking.
They're both American. They both had these amazing accents. And I forget that I'm part of this podcast. I'm just listening to them speak and go. This is the. And what I'd start doing because I'd be because I was nervous, because I'd be I'd be sat there thinking the entire time I have not spoken in ages, I'd just say something. And it's total nonsense. So, yeah. So I did that and I got a little bit better, but I was still petrified doing it.
But what what really pushed me was I found out how much money they got paid for this thing. Bearing in mind that we just three of us just came together, we hit the record button, a spike, which is. Weird, but, yeah, we we got paid. I don't know if I'm allowed safe figures, I got to say anyway, I. I believe he got paid five hundred dollars an episode from a sponsor and most of that money they used to like he paid editors and and hosting and all sorts of stuff.
So there wasn't much left over. But we still each of us got a good few hundred pounds each for just chatting. You know, they had literally friends, was speaking for ten hours and we got paid. And weirdly, the sponsor of that, they'd actually contacted me in the past to maybe do some promotion through Twitter. And one of the other HAYSE at that show, he started doing the same thing. And I'm like, maybe I could do my own thing.
And yeah, I thought I'd pitch the idea to fresh books. Who kindly sponsored the podcast next. They've actually sponsored. About 70 of the 86 episodes they have released, so they've they've been an incredible sponsor for me. I reached out to them originally, hadn't released a single episode, didn't even think I was capable of doing it, but I decided. This was not long after my mum passed away. So I was in this weird mindset, well, like have to say yes to everything.
You know, I can't turn any opportunity down. So that's that's the reason why I said yes to that, being on that podcast as a co-host. And yeah, I thought, you know, I'm going to create my own thing and see how it goes. Like I said, I never planned it to be one season. I didn't really know why I was doing I had a had a microphone, but no proper care. But I did one season and it's one it was one of the best things I ever did personally.
And I learned a lot. I, I know, I know. I can talk a lot. But I've, I've never been that confident. I've never been very good at conversation. So from a personal development development point of view, I recognize I grew in confidence over that period of time. Anytime I made a mistake, would like my microphone set up, I, I used to be Yeti originally and I didn't realize. But you're supposed to speak into the side, the microphone, not the top.
So my first few episodes have spoken to the top. So the quality wasn't that great. I also didn't have a pop filter. So I had lots up and I spoke to Close. But every time I did an episode, I'd release it. I learned from it. I tweak something. I do another episode. See, I did the Tempah season I always wanted to do. I was lucky enough to speak to people I admired for years. You know, these are individuals that I pretty much grew up with admiring it.
And it was just phenomenal to me that I could reach out to individuals, invite them on, speak to them for an hour, and then share that with other people and get paid to do this. So it was great for pastor development and all sorts of stuff. So there was so many better benefits to do it that I decided I I'm going to take part Flins and cut my boy's cord. But the Smart podcast course that he did and I did that course and made a few tweaks to my setup and the software I was using and improved season two.
And I've. So I did a 10, part 10 part, season one. Then I did a 10 part season two. And then when I got to season six. That's when I spoke to fresh books about potentially sponsoring two seasons back to back. And they actually agreed to sponsor six months worth of content. So back in January, since since the 1st of January, I've I've been doing podcasts weekly and I've got a good routine and I'm very likely to continue doing a weekly show.
So it's been amazing. I think if you are doing a season with shows on a weekly show can seem quite intimidating, actually. Very quickly becomes routine. Yes, it does.
Yeah, it does. Because I found so I was doing seasons at first I think it was like season five. I finished season five and then I, I, I couldn't get fresh books as a sponsor right away, but I thought, you know, I just want to carry on. I'm enjoying this. And I started using affiliates. I carried on back to back and then I started to see actually there's just a routine to this providing you got a backlog of interviews.
You just need to set aside like a day, a week to edit the show and publisher. And it's just part of my week now. It's just part of my routine. I just put projects around and and push it and. Yeah. I think even before January, I think I think I did a, uh, maybe two seasons back to back. So probably been doing it consistently now for about eight months. And yeah, it's been one of the best things I've ever done and is.
Yeah, it's exciting. So I'm I'm so glad I started it. And if anyone was to listen to my podcast and go back to Episode one vast, it's like the more recent episodes. You can see my interview techniques improved. My confidence has improved. The audio has improved. Now, sounds like a proper podcast. Was that the beginning? It was not.
I think I think that's why you're such a good role model for a lot of people who want to get into the creative space in any way, because unless you're willing to give yourself permission to not be where you would like to be in the beginning, you'll never get good in your hand, especially in the creative sector. And designers in particular, perfectionism is a real issue. I worked with a lot of designers where they never put anything in their portfolio because by the time they're finished, a piece of work or they consider the flows.
Yeah. And that leads to complete paralysis. Yeah. So you've found ways around that? Yeah, I think I think you have to.
I mean, if we're just speaking about work, you know, like graphic design work and your portfolio, you have to show what you've done before. You have to even if you don't like it, but you have to confidently show it and and. Um, you know, if you if you want a job or you want clients, no one is gonna hire you, hire you unless they can see that you can do what they want you to do.
No, I. For me in my head, anything like presenting or speaking. I see that kind of in a different way. But it's not really, is it? I think for me, like I said early on, I've suffered from bad anxiety before. I've, um. I was the type of person I'd I'd go to some kind of event. And, uh, you know, when people do like a taste and they hold a glass of champagne, my hand would start shaking.
And if I was to drink that that glass of champagne, I would spill it all over the floor. You know, my hand was shaking that much. Um. So I had therapy to help with this. And, I mean, there were there was a couple of other things, including stuttering. So I've I've had, uh, uh, a stutter when, uh. I mean, it's it's not a stutter like some people where they can't physically say certain words.
Mine is triggered by anxiety. So for a long period of time, I had this problem where if I was nervous, Saler on the phone or whatever. I literally can get some words out my mouth, say a podcast has helped with the anxieties that come from doing public speaking. I still get quite nervous when I'm actually doing a alive thing on a stage. I have done that and I've got three by found podcasting helps with that is helped build confidence and it's helped with stuttering.
And these are things that that therapist actually said were very complicated and he might not be able to solve it, but he can give me the tools to help with that. And, um, in turn, hitting that record button, it recreate the sensations of standing in front of a crowd of people. To me, um, not so much now, but I mean, it did at the beginning say, uh, I have gone off your question slightly, but that that's one thing that, um, that's really pushed me is is more passino development.
And and, uh, I think something that's really stuck in my mind and it was because of my mom, um, I don't want to get to, like an 80 year old and look back at my life and think, what if or. Yeah, I don't want to regret that. And, um, the reality is that in a hundred years time, most people that are listening to this won't exist anymore. And I know that's a slightly more morbid way of looking at it, but in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't really matter what other people think.
They're not gonna be around at that time. So for me, the the need to not regret is greater than the embarrassment of screwing up. And another thing related to that. When I did have therapy and we spoke about public speaking. They asked me the question of how would you feel if that was one of your friends on the stage? And they did mess up. What would you think of that person? And realizing that actually, I don't think anything less of them.
I just want to support them when I want to see them succeed. It's it's little things that have helped me, um, aim to develop and improve my skills. So it's not about I know we're not perfect, but I'm working to improve. But is it's that drive to not want to regret that kind of keeps me going really. I think that's a great attitude. I really like the so of all the things you've got going online, you've got Twitter massive following their Facebook group is huge.
You've got the podcast of all of those things. Is there any one thing you could put your finger on and say this has been the best thing I've done? Um, out of everything? I really I would say the podcast. Mm hmm. I mean, it's amazing to think that previously. Even now that there's not a dedicated, locally designed podcast. And I've read a lot of books on logo design, and there's not one central resource. And the one of the main reasons for that is that there isn't one single process.
So actually, to be able to interview graphic design is from the the the legends that pioneered graphic design is it's amazing. A lot of them are still alive. Graphic design is relatively young in terms of a career. So I'm able to interview some of the what who could be deemed as pioneers. And obviously, the young up, up, up and coming people. And to get everyone's perspective on that process and share that in some way, that's as.
Tourism, where hasn't been previously done in this way, and I feel like I've created something bigger than me with the community as well, I mean, it all kind of works together as one. But I actually feel like I'm making a long lasting impact on my life and other people's lives by correcting these things. Say, yeah, I'd have to be the podcast for sure.
I'm just looking at the time. We should probably bring things to a close quite soon if people want to get in touch with you, if you want to take things further with you. How would you like them to do that?
Well, I've been quite fortunate that I've got everything under the name of local geek. So in terms of social media, if you just search like a geek, you'll find me. But I have a website, I, I, I've got pretty much every single social channel say probably the best place to look is my Web site, which is like a geek dot com. Perfect. And to bring things to an end, I always must remember. What's one thing you do know you wish you'd started five years ago?
I would probably say the podcast because like I said, for so many reasons, it's really helped me improve and develop as a person.
And I feel it's elevated a lot of skills. Say definitely that. And if I'm allowed to cheat and say a second one, earlier in the conversation, I said that early this year I went full time. You know what? I should have done this ages ago. I was worried about it failing, but actually it wouldn't have failed because I've had leads come in consistently and they're still coming in now. And as is always been a passion and I do regret not doing that further because I can see now the amount when when you sit down or focus on something as an independent graphic designer, you can do a lot in a short period of time if you just sit down and get on with it.
So I'm looking forward to see what I would do within within the next couple years. I do regret not doing it a lot sooner.
I have to agree with and simply to supplement it. I think one thing that people who are not running their own businesses, often thinkers who look so risky. But actually, if you take a moment and think about how many people have to get annoyed with you in your job in order for you to not have a job, the answer is one. Whereas when you run your own business, an awful lot of people have to get very unhappy before you're out of a job.
So it's it's actually much safer.
Yeah, yeah. I mean, it is very daunting, is it, that it's all the anxieties that come with taking the leap and and being in the right place mentally and financially to be able to do it? I won one real benefit for me and the reason why I did choose to take that leap. I mentioned earlier in this podcast that fresh books agree to do six months worth of content and they basically, at the end of last year gave me a cheque for twelve thousand dollars that I wasn't expecting any other way.
And that gave me a a safety net. So it meant that when I did take the leap, I didn't need to stress about having to get clients right away. Like I if if I if I could see that and say like after four months, if after four months of getting full time, I wasn't getting any clients or nothing was coming in. I had a financial buffer that would keep me safe for that length of time. And now probably always keep that buffer to one side just just as a backup.
But because I don't have that financial pressure, it's allowed me to try things, experiment with things. But you know what? I've I've been amazed. Like, we've we've been at the world totally changed since March because a cave at nineteen. I've had friends that I've lost all of their clients. They've had to shut down their business and all that sort of stuff. But I've been really lucky that running my business over the last four months, it's been incredible.
I've been working with so many different clients and if the momentum keeps going as it is during a pandemic, then I don't see any reason why it won't succeed on getting. So I. I feel like I did it at the right time for me personally and the company that I worked with previously, they actually fell late or their staff not long afterwards. So I feel like it was the right time to do it and. Even though I say I wish I did it five years ago, actually, I did it at the right time for me.
I was ready save and budget from local geek. Don't come undercover. Thank you very much for your time. I can't wait to see you again in person. Thanks, Bob. It's really great to properly chat with you. And thank you to everyone that's. Listen. It's been really great fun. I hope you got as much out of that interview as I did. It is such a great example of an action taker. Success lives in action taken consistently, consistency and action taken over time.
Allow you to build and refine your skills, your knowledge and your confidence. And Ian Storey is a wonderful example of that. If you don't take those first blundering steps, get over your own ego and allow yourself to suck for a while. Success will always be out of reach. Take those steps and it can go way faster than you think. Before I go, just a quick reminder to subscribe. And if you haven't already join our Facebook group.
You can find a link in the show, notes or just visit, amplify, meet or FFM forward slash insiders. I would love for you to connect with me on social media. You can follow me wherever you hang out. You'll find me at POB gentle. And if you do, then message me. Let me know and I can follow you back more than anything. I would love for you to join me over on YouTube. I have a whole different bunch of content there.
And YouTube is very new for me. So every single subscriber is frankly golden and I would cherish every single one if you enjoyed the show. Then I'd love to have you on iTunes. It means a lot to me and it's the best way to help me reach more podcast subscribers. My name is Bob Gentile. Thanks again to Ian for giving us his time this week. And to you for listening. We'll see you next week.
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