IFH 336: Personal Branding and Why I Legally Changed My Name

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In today’s world, personal branding is more important than ever. I wanted to discuss what personal branding is, how to go about it and examples of how other world-famous filmmakers branded themselves. What is the definition of personal branding?

Personal branding is the practice of marketing people and their careers as brands. It is an ongoing process of developing and maintaining a reputation and impression of an individual, group, or organization. Whereas some self-help practices focus on self-improvement, personal branding defines success as a form of self-packaging. The term is thought to have originated from an article written by Tom Peters in 1997. In Be, Your Own Brand, first published in 1999, marketers David McNally and Karl Speak wrote: “Your brand is a perception or emotion, maintained by somebody other than you, that describes the total experience of having a relationship with you.”

Individuals sometimes associate personal names or pseudonyms with their businesses. Celebrities may also leverage their social status to support organizations for financial or social gain. For example, Kim Kardashian endorses brands and products through her media influence. – Wikipedia

I also discuss why I legally changed my name to Alex Ferrari when I was 18 years old. I hope you start thinking of not only what your personal brand is but also how to build it. Enjoy!

Alex Ferrari 2:00
Now guys, today is a special episode because I'm going to talk about something that I have never publicly talked about. And it's something that I've been asked a bunch of times in the course of my career, but I've always been kind of cagey about it and just never really never thought it was anybody's business. But I really thought that this, this information needed to get out there. And you guys know me to be very honest and straightforward and, and transparent with you guys. And today we're going to talk about personal branding. And how a personal brand yourself as a filmmaker, as a businessman as a film to printer, and all those and all of the above. And the one thing that I have been asked a ton in my my entire career is my last name. People always ask me about Ferrari Alex, how did Where did you get that name? Like how is that possible? You're Cuban guy from South Florida? How do you have a last name Ferrari. And I'm gonna say it now I've never said this story publicly before but I legally changed my name. When I was 18 years old on I think close to my 18 year old 18th birthday, I went down to the courthouse and change my last name to Ferrari. Now my original last name is very similar to Ferrari just a little bit different. But Ferrari was a name that was always, always in my head rattling around. And instinctively, I knew that having a name like Ferrari would make me stand out of the crowd. And I didn't want to, you know, have a stage name or something like that. Because I was 18 years old, I would there's no reason to have a stage name for God's sakes. But I knew instinctively that I wanted something to make me pop, especially when you were looking at a ton of resumes, or you are looking at a reel, that last name would stick out and people would remember you. And that's exactly why I did it. I originally was thinking about marketing. I was I was thinking about branding, and the name Ferrari which again was similar to my original last name, but I just thought it would make me stand out and guess what guys it did. I've gotten so much work over the years purely because of name recognition, because it made me stand out is is an extreme case of branding and personal branding. I am not suggesting that you go out and legally change your name to a cool last name or something like that. Don't go out and call yourself a Porsche or Lamborghini got I've heard that joke too many times in my life. But it was just something that made sense for me. And I was very, very happy that I've done it. I've never looked back I have now be I've been a Ferrari much longer than I was my original last name and by the way, my parents were not happy at all. About Me changing my name, you know, my dad, my mom, they were very, very, very upset about it. But I'm the kind of guy that just, you know, plays by my own rules, if you will, and just dance dance to my own beat. And it was just something that made sense to me. And it was something that something that rang true to me that I'm like, Oh, this is supposed to be my name, I have to be this name. And it has been, again, I can't tell you how much work I've gotten because of that name change. It has been, even when I was pa ng, and I was, you know, starting up and coming up in the business. I mean, I remember being on set as a PA or an intern, and people would just call me I Ferrari go over here, Ferrari over this Ferrari over that. And it was such a powerful thing for me. And I'm telling you this story, because I want to talk about personal branding in this episode. And better no better way to do it than to talk about my own personal branding and how I was able to brand myself as a filmmaker. And now as a host, and a podcaster, and author and a director and, and all the other things that I do. That name has really helped me out a lot. And oddly enough, Ferrari is not a name that's associated with the film industry. In the least it's no, it's associated with a car, and very famous, and very high end cars. So again, that association does help. I didn't call myself the Nova or the Pinto, Alex Pinto probably wouldn't have worked as well as Alex Ferrari. But again, it was just a name that, that I've been thinking about and dreaming about, honestly, for years prior to me making that decision. And it was a very, very serious decision to change your name legally, but and I had to go through a lot of hoops to do so. But I did. Now let's look at personal branding, what is the definition of personal branding? Personal Branding is the practice of marketing yourself, or your career as a brand. And that is so important in today's world, in the world of social media, and the world of getting jobs, people are always looking at your personal brand. So let me give you an example of a personal brand. If you have a Facebook account, a Twitter account, Instagram account, and you're a new, you know, you're you're an up and coming filmmaker who's trying to get a job as an editor somewhere, people are going to do checks on you. And they're going to look at what you're posting how you're posting, and whatever you're posting out there. Whatever you're putting out into the world that's associated with you in your name, people are going to associate with it. So if you're out there, on your Facebook page, and you're drinking and having parties and you know, acting a fool and doing foolish things, chances are when a potential employer or client looks you up and sees what you've been doing, they're probably not going to give you the job. So you have to think about these things. When you post stuff, when you express yourself on social media, in your website, things like that, whatever that brand might be, your brand might be the crazy guy who goes around, you know, shooting, you know, scare videos, or whatever that is, that might be a brand that you know, people have made millions of dollars on YouTube doing that, you've just have to watch you in this episode to kind of sit down and think about what is my personal brand? What do I want to associate myself with? And what is the end game of my personal brand? And it doesn't mean that you have to have a podcast, it doesn't mean that you're going to be a you know, a huge brand that's going to be worth millions of dollars? No, it could be it's like as micro as how am I gonna present myself to the world to get a job to build a build a business to get clients to, you know, to get that internship, how would you want to present yourself by building that website by putting out your social media, you have to think about these things. I took it to an extreme with, you know, changing my name legally to Alex Ferrari. And by that association, that name alone brought images of high end quality, power, speed, all sorts of things based on the Association of the term Ferrari, which is based on of course, the Ferrari Motor Company, and I started to leverage that image over the course of my career people would you know, on a subconscious level, associate My name with that. And then when they would look me up on either social media back then it would be like MySpace or something like that. But whenever they looked up social media or they went to my website, I would project a very polished, very professional, slick looking You know, image on my website on the websites design on the the clients that I've worked with all of that kind of stuff. These are things you need to think about when you're putting out a personal brand. Now, one other thing I'm going to talk about about your personal brand is how you can leverage other brands to help build your own brand. So I've told this story, I think once before, but I'll tell it again when I was when I came out to LA for the first time. years ago, when I got here over a decade ago, I was offered a job to color Grade A music video for no money. They're like, Look, man, we have no money, but Snoop Dogg is in the mute. It's a music videos and music video for Snoop Dogg. And I was like, Yes, I'll do it. And it cost me a day day and a half of my time. But then I was able to put Snoop Dogg front and center on my company's website on my own personal website, as well, like, hey, I've worked with this caliber of artists. And because of that association, automatically, I started getting bigger jobs, more, getting more money, all of these things because I did one free job. And I was leveraging Snoop Dogg's. Snoop Dogg's credibility, Snoop Dogg's fame and all those kind of things. And you could do the same thing with as an editor, I did it early on in my career with my my spec demo reel, where I leveraged a bunch of highly produced footage that I edited together to make fake commercial, then I would slap a Nike logo at the end of it. And I would put it up as my work. I did the work. But I didn't actually work for Nike, but it was called a spec reel. And when people asked, I always told the truth. But when they didn't ask, I just let them assume this way you did when you started out, you know, you fake it till you make it, and a whole episode on how to fake it till you make it. But that is also branding, so that those associations helped my personal brand as a editor coming up in the Miami editing market back in the 90s. Because of the association, I was able to do, and there was nobody else doing that back then. So I was able to stand out. So not only my name, but also the Association of the projects I was able to create and put out helped my brand. So if you have a Facebook account, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts, or any other social media counseling, then and so on, by posting these projects with these higher end people that you're able to get sometimes for free, sometimes paid gigs, when you're starting out that association really build your personal brand, or your company's brand, your production company's brand, your post production company's brand, whatever that brand might be. So I again, this episode's about you thinking, I want you to start thinking about who you are as a personal brand. And if you think for a second that it doesn't matter, you're wrong. I'm sorry to tell you that you are wrong. In today's world, and in the world that we're walking into over the next 10 or 15 years, how much do you think your personal brand is going to matter? about getting from getting a job? How much do you think that personal brand is going to matter when you're trying to court a new client for your production company or trying to get a new gig, it's going to mean a lot guys, it's going to mean a tremendous amount. So if you start building that personal brand now, building that company brand now, that is going to be so valuable to you. And the people who aren't doing it are going to be left behind. And I know a lot of people listening right now go look Alex Willis, I have a I have a production company, I have a company that I build their, their their branding, I brand the company, I don't want to brand myself, on a micro level, you know, you need to brand yourself as something of quality of the kind of projects you do. If you're a creative, you got to brand yourself. If you're behind the scenes, you're branding yourself just based on the kind of projects you're working on. I know people who work than I did this early on is you would start doing work on any low budget thing that came your way. And at the beginning, you have to do that. But at a certain point you need to shift that if you don't, you're going to be working on those kinds of projects for the rest of your life. So you essentially start have to shift that personal brand, you got to shift the branding and the association were like, Oh, this guy, he doesn't do movies for $1,000 to color great an entire movie. He's going to be paid 10 or $15,000 if not 30 or $40,000 to color great a movie if not even more depending on how much of a prestigious brand you are building. I want you to just think about it, guys. Think about your branding. Think about your company's branding. Think about your your own branding. And also think about your movie and projects, branding, and how those projects that you're working on are building, how they affect your brand. So if all of a sudden, I start directing porn for no apparent reason, and I'm like, Hey, guys, I'm really into porn right now. That's probably going to change my brand. Does that make sense? I'm gonna start being known as Oh, Alex. Alex Ferrari. Yeah, he's a porn director. Now. You know, that's what he does. He used to direct movies and independent films, but for whatever reason, he's doing porn. Now. That's going to change my personal brand, completely. Am I right? You know, ask yourself the question. If I started changing and started doing those kind of movies, that's the kind of brand I'm building. You know. I'm going to talk about an amazing horror director by the name of Wes Craven. Now, Wes, if you don't know who West is, is in his work. He was the one that came up with Nightmare on Elm Street. It hills have two eyes are a thing. Yeah, hills had two eyes and a house around the corner, the scream franchise, all of these amazing films that were all horror. And he when he originally got into the business, he didn't particularly want to do horror movies. It just kind of he just kind of fell into doing horror movies. And for the rest of his career, he tried to break out of that branding that personal brand. People just knew him as the horror guy. And he could he never was able to break out of that he tried once. I think he leveraged the sequel to scream like, if you want me to do the sequel of scream, you got to give me music of the heart, which was a movie with Meryl Streep and Gloria Estefan about violins in a school system. And it was a beautiful movie. But people just didn't care. Because Wes is not known for that it's hard to break through that branding, you know, and he didn't think about that when he was coming up. So he was kind of stuck in that branding for the rest of his life. Unlike the Coen Brothers, whose first film was this dark, gritty blood simple this like, new or a film noir slash slacker film, kindness, it was like a weird combination of stuff. And that was their first film. And people were like, Oh, that's the kind of filmmakers they are, well, they threw everybody on the on the top of their head when their second film came out was raising Arizona. So now the Coen Brothers brand is that they can do whatever the heck they want, they could do a serious drama, they can do comedy, they can jump back and forth, they could combine the two, whatever, it doesn't matter, because that's the brand that they were able to create for themselves. So think about those kind of that kind of branding for you in your career. So I hope this episode helped you guys just begin to think about personal branding, company branding, just branding in general for yourself, for your companies, for your films, because it is so so, so important. And where we are going with all the social media with all the access and the and the lack of privacy that we're going to be going into and are already in becoming a personal brand and building a personal brand. Whatever your values are, whatever kind of projects you want to work on whatever kind of stories you want to tell, you better start thinking about it and branding yourself. And, in guys, if you don't have a personal website, for God's sakes, go get a personal website, you got to build a personal website for yourself. Even if you're just a first ad, just if you're a you know, a PA started up, get your URL for your name, and build a website and and just tell people what you're doing. It's invaluable guys. So I hope this helped out a lot. If you want a link to a couple of books on personal branding, I'm gonna put them in the show notes at indiefilmhustle.com/336. And guys next week, I'm going to be doing an announcement a large announcement that announcement I've been talking about for a while. Again, it's not as big as filmtrepreneur. But it is fairly big. It's something I've never done before for the tribe. So keep an ear out and watch social media and all sorts of stuff. I'm going to be announcing something fairly large next week. So check it out. Oh, by the way, also on August 16, I'm going to be speaking with my brother from another mother are be from states that are too at the holly shorts Film Festival at 6pm. I'm gonna put links to getting tickets in the show notes. And I'm also possibly going to be doing a whole other section or another talk on filmtrepreneur on how to become a entrepreneurial filmmaker also on Holly shorts, but we haven't set up the date yet. So we're hopefully getting that done as soon as possible. So thanks again for listening guys. I really hope this episode helps you out and makes you start thinking about your own personal brand. As always, keep that hustle going Keep that dream alive and I'll talk to you soon.

IFH 294: All Filmmakers are Marketers – Branding, Marketing & Social Media

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Today I’m talking about marketing! Yup, marketing. If you, as indie filmmakers, do not understand branding, marketing, and social media YOU WILL NOT MAKE IT IN THE BUSINESS. I really want to get through to you guys. I’ve been consulting more and more filmmakers lately and I see there is a MAJOR disconnect between filmmakers and understanding the basics of branding (whether personal, company, or project), marketing, and social media.

In this episode I’ll be discussing:

  • Tribe or Audience Building
  • Brand Marketing vs. Directing Marketing
  • Understanding your smallest viable audience
  • Brand Building
  • Building Your Personal Brand
  • Discovering how you can love the GRIND or your journey
  • Choosing platforms to build your brand
  • Content creation

Also below are six books that will help you along your path to understanding these basic concepts. I truly hope that you find value in this episode. The understanding, at a basic level, of branding, marketing, and social media is not a luxury but a necessity in today’s and tomorrow’s world.  Don’t get left behind. I want every single #IFHTribe member to make there dream come true, to build a better life for themselves and to love their own journey towards their goals.

Warning: this episode might make you think about stuff so beware! Enjoy and keep on hustling.

Alex Ferrari 0:01
So guys, today on the show, I want to talk about this concept that all filmmakers are marketers. And I know that sounds very intimidating to a lot of you that like I'm not a marketer, I'm just a filmmaker, I want to prove something to you guys, that if you've ever posted anything on social media, if you've ever tried to make a poster for your film, or a trailer for your film, or boost something on Facebook, or on Twitter or on Instagram to get people to watch what you're doing, I hate to break it to you guys, but you are marketers. And once you start understanding and accepting that, that you have the power, like never before in history to reach a mass audience to show people what you can do. As filmmakers, as artists, as screenwriters. You have the power at your fingertips literally on your phones, you can start doing this instantly. Now I want to talk a little bit about marketing, and about what filmmakers could do to help their marketing abilities and get their reach out there more. Now, I've talked about this on the show before and I think a lot of people a lot of filmmakers make mistakes when it comes to marketing regarding like how to get their movie out there. First of all, by picking the product or picking the the art that they're going to put out there and then trying to reach an audience for it. I had an entire episode about how you niche down that is the the future of independent filmmaking is to niche niche niche niche down niche down niche down, as I say the riches are in the niches, you know, because you want to be able to create a product that you can hit a the smallest viable audience for and let me explain what the smallest viable audience is. You don't need millions upon millions of people to to like what you're doing to buy what you're doing to rent a film of yours to read a book that you write, or whatever you might be putting out there in the world, you need the smallest viable audience. And when I mean that is a niche audience, someone who's going to be interested in what you're doing. If you're making a horror movie, and it's a very broad horror movie, finding that smallest viable audience is going to be difficult because you're going to try to do brand marketing, as opposed to direct marketing. Now brand marketing is what the studio's do brand marketing is spending $200 million to put the Justice League movie out on every billboard banner, ad television, ads, commercials, YouTube everywhere you can see, as you get closer and closer to the release date, you become aware of the film that they're trying to promote this in this case would be justice leaked, the only way they can find out if any of this marketing that they did made any sort of impact is on the opening box office receipts. That is the way they measure their analytics to see what worked, what didn't work, because when you put up a billboard, or buy a magazine ad, like old traditional media, you have no idea if one person saw that ad, and then impact got impacted by that, to do something about it, or millions did, you just don't know. But when you're the studio, you have that that flexibility because you have obscene amounts of money to put into it. So that's called brand marketing, just like Coca Cola puts out just tons and tons of brand awareness, they spent millions upon millions of dollars, over the course of the last decades, to make sure that everybody in the planet knows what Coca Cola is, if you have that kind of budget as an independent filmmaker, God bless you. But if you don't, then you've got to focus on direct marketing. Direct Marketing is when you focus on a specific group of people. And then you start focusing your message to that group. And now with the power of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube ads, all of those kinds of ads that are available through social media free and paid, you can actually see how many people click how many people are actually taking action buying or renting, you can see instantly where your dollars, or your energy is going towards. And you as an independent filmmaker have access to all of this. Again, anytime you've posted anything up on your social media feeds, regardless of the platform, you're marketing, you want people to see what you're doing you, if it's a writing an article, it's a blog, it's a podcast, whatever it is, you want people to see what you're doing. And you are marketing. So I just want to get that concept in your head. Because a lot of you think, Well, I'm not good at marketing, but I'm not a marketer, right? I don't really know anything about how to get the word out there. Of course you do. You know the basics, and you have the power that companies 50 years ago, would have killed for and it's on your fingertips. And you could do so much of it for free. By building your tribes by building up people who are interested in what you're doing. It is doable, it is possible. Many people have done it before you and many people will do it after you but the question you have to ask yourself is, am I going to do it? Because I truly, truly believe that filmmakers in today's world that do not understand the basics of marketing, social media brand building will not succeed in the business period. Let me repeat that. filmmakers who do not understand marketing, social media and branding will not succeed as an independent filmmaker, sure, there'll be outliers. Sure you some of you will make the next great independent film that will get into Sundance and you will have a ride of your life. Sure, that will happen once or twice here or there. But those are outliers. That is not the norm. If you want to build a business, around your art around your filmmaking, around yourself, as a filmmaker, you need to understand marketing, social media, and branding. And everything I'm saying is not just about promoting a movie or promoting a product, it's also about building you up building yourself as a brand up. And when I say building a brand, a lot of people think Well, I'm not Nike, I'm not apple. Of course not. But I promise you that if you are able to build up a brand as a filmmaker, like many of the guests that I've been able to do, who are trying to get attention from other people to get jobs, other people to get, you know commercial jobs, music, video jobs. If you build up a brand, around whatever kind of art you're trying to create, you will stand out from all of the competition, no matter if they're better than you more experienced, and you have better connections than you do. If you're able to build up your personal brand, you will be able to succeed in places you can even comprehend. Now, it is truly invaluable for you to understand these concepts. Now, there's a lot of great books, a lot of great courses out there that will help you down this road. I'm not telling you that you need to be an expert on everything, Facebook's Twitter, social, you know, Snapchat, all the different social media platforms. I'm not saying that. I'm not saying that you need a degree in marketing, or in brand management or anything like that. But the basic simple things that you need to do build a website for yourself. First of all, let's talk about branding yourself. You build a website for yourself first of all, okay, you start creating content for that website, content that is wrapped around. What you want to be known for, whether that be directing, writing, production, design, cinematography, whatever part whatever art that you are practicing, and you want to be known for build content around that, that could be videos showing you doing it constantly creating a vlog where you then post it on YouTube. And again, also another thing, guys, many people create their brands on different platforms. And the more platforms you could do it, the better, but some people are stronger in certain platforms than others. My main platform is podcasting. You know, I'm one of the larger film making podcasts out there. But like someone like Jacob Owens, who's a well known music video director, he created buff nerds, and he created this insane YouTube Empire, meaning that people like he has almost a million followers on YouTube, I'm gonna have Jacob on the show in the coming weeks. And I really drill him about how to build a brand and how he did everything from the ground up. And you know, people do it on Instagram, people do it on Twitter, and on Facebook, and all these other platforms. The problem I always see with building your brand on a platform is that you're playing in someone else's sandbox. So you can do that. And it's wonderful and great to do it. But always have a website to go back to a hub that you can create, and kind of spawn everything out of. So no matter if all the social media platforms go away tomorrow, you still have a website where people know you and can go follow what you're doing. And I know a lot of you listening right now like Alex, that's so much work, I can barely just do the art just barely create the work that I'm trying to create. I hate to tell you guys, but this is the new reality of where we live in where we're going. If you think it's bad. Now wait until there's another 30 or 40% of people trying to break into this business, and trying to compete against you for jobs and opportunities. You need something to set yourself apart from everybody else. And what I'm laying out for you right now is one of the major keys of doing that. And let's talk about content for a second and creating content to build that brand, whatever that brand might be. If it's personal branding, if it's a movie that you're trying to put out or product that you're trying to put out. Let's just let me go back or go way back to 2005. When I released my short film broken, I've mo spoken about this this project many times, I did an entire episode about how I sold that and everything. But I want to I want to just present it as an example. Back in 2005, there was not many short films being sold on DVDs and people actually buying it. So what did I do to make my little short film with no stars and little action film shot in Florida? You know, you know, on mini DV no less? How did I get that to stand out? Well, what I did is, first of all, I said I'm going to put it on DVD and I'm going to try to sell it. And then I said to myself, well how am I going to be able to do that? How am I going to be able to to you know set myself apart from all these other short films that are even trying to get some attention, let alone trying to sell it. So then I created content, I created almost four hours or four and a half hours I forget of making of content, creating value to my smallest viable audience, which was filmmakers because I knew that audience because I am one of those audience members. So I wanted to create that product. And the second I was able to do that I started creating product and putting it on YouTube, posting it everywhere. At that moment, we did have a website. So I had people coming back to the website, I was doing all this instinctually I didn't read anything about it and understand what I was doing. But I was doing instinctually. And by the time that DVD came out, it blew up it to the point where we sold almost 5000 or over 5000 DVDs and made a lot of money with a short film back when nobody else was doing it. Now that same plan won't work today. So don't try it. It's not going to work today because the world is different today. There's a lot more of that content out there. So you have to create something else, you have to do something else to stand up above the crowd. And what I'm laying out in this, this podcast will help you to do that. Same thing goes for films. Same thing goes for production companies, creating content, building that brand up, providing value to the audience that you're trying to create. Understanding if you're going to spend money, what kind of money are you going to spend? I cannot tell you how many filmmakers that I consult on a daily basis who say the same thing. Look, we've got five or $10,000 to put into marketing. And I go you've got a romantic comedy with no stars in it. Nobody knows who you are. Nobody knows who this film is, because you haven't said a damn thing about it through this entire process of making it, you haven't built up any sort of awareness for it and you think $10,000 is going to dent anything, it won't. By that time, it's going to be very difficult to generate any sort of interest, any sort of awareness for that project. They didn't think it through from the beginning of when they created it all the way out to the end. So many of you who are listening to this will say, Alex, I just don't want to think about marketing it while I'm writing the script, well, maybe not while you're writing the script. But when you're in pre production, you better think about marketing, you better think about how you're going to get this out there. Because you have to, if not, you're dead. And I've seen it happen a million times, I cannot tell you weekly, I get these calls, weekly, I do consultations with with filmmakers who are just like, I don't know where to go with this, I'm like, you've got to build up this, this situation and understand how you're going to get your film out there. Just basically, because they didn't understand the difference between brand marketing and direct marketing. They think that $10,000 of buying some Facebook ads, for people who like romantic comedies is going to do a thing. You're just going to put more money in Zach's pocket, the owner of Facebook, Zuckerberg his pocket, that's it, that's all you are doing. Just understand that you cannot play in the branding, marketing game, you have to go direct marketing, you have to niche you've got to be razor focused, you've got it hit that target. When you're trying to sell your movie, when you're trying to market that movie, when you're trying to market yourself as anything, you've got to be raiser, then just go because you don't have a money owes. You don't have a money host to throw out to just kind of like shotgun, whatever you're trying to do get out there the message you're trying to get out there. And one other thing I'd like to say about this topic. And you can see I'm very passionate about this because I felt something in my bones said that I needed to do this podcast today that I needed to get this message out to you guys today. I don't know why I just woke up this morning and said you know what? I'm going to talk about branding, marketing, and social media. And I think it's something that I need to kind of reiterate every once in a while to you guys because things are changing so rapidly, almost on a weekly basis on how to get yourself out there. Now the other thing I want to say about this topic is one word, the one word, which is the lesson that took me the longest to learn. As that as the question I was asking my podcast, the question that took you the longest to learn whether in life or in the film business, I think it's both in the film business, his life is a one word answer, and is something that you guys have to understand very clearly, if you're going to make it if you're going to be able to achieve your dream patients. I know you don't like to hear it. I didn't, I didn't want to hear it at all when I was younger. But you have to understand that patience is what you're going to need to get all of the things I'm talking about forward, you're going to need a year head time to build up awareness for a feature film, you're going to have to be pounding it day in, day out, getting your brand out there, whether it be the brand of the movie, whether it be the brand of yourself of your production company, or whatever you're trying to achieve. You're going to take it's going to take time, it's taken me for almost four years. In July, it'll be four years to get the indie film hustle brand out there in a large way, and it's getting larger every day. Why? Because I have momentum. Because I started hustling hard. Every day I show up you guys know I show up every single day to work. And I come in and I create content. And I create value for my tribe. And I keep putting it out there every single day, every single week, week in week out holidays, Christmas, Thanksgiving, it's out there. Why? Because that's what you have to do. That's what you have to kind of get out there. And that's the kind of value that you have to provide for the audience that you're trying to get to. don't preach. Don't shout, hey, look at me, look at me look at my movie, provide value in one way, shape or form for whatever you're trying to create. Do you know how many, you know course instructors I've met? Who are, let's say, middle of the road cinematographers. I'm just gonna say it middle of the road. cinematographers don't have any huge credits, but they're more than capable. They're more than capable. But what they've done to create their brand is create online courses, to show people that they know what they're doing to become a leader in that space. And by doing Creating an online course about cinematography or about editing or about color grading or about whatever, all of a sudden, their status rises within the business, because they're like, wow, if this guy or This girl has made 10 courses on cinematography, they must know what they're doing, let's hire him, or let's hire her to do this, or they have this huge class on Skillshare, or Udemy, or on ifH, TV or wherever, all of a sudden, it gives you a different persona, that you're an educator that you're so prolific in what you're doing that you're now educating others in how to do it. And doesn't mean you don't need to be a master class level instructor to do that, all you have to do is be just a little bit ahead of everybody else that you're teaching. That's all a teacher is someone who knows just a little bit more, someone who can teach you something. But do you see the branding in that? Do you see that even if they're not the best in the world, you know, they're not the best in what they do in the world. But yet, they've been able to build a brand around themselves doing it and it rises their status within the business. So when a potential client or potential employer looks them up, and they said, Wow, this guy's created a YouTube channel that has 100,000 followers. And all he does is talk about editing, or all, all he talks about is about cinematography, all she talks about is writing, I'm going to hire her to consult, I'm going to hire her to be my cinematographer, I'm gonna hire this guy to be my post supervisor, because all he does is talk about post production. It's an amazing process. But I want you guys to see all these examples, because I want you to be able to do it for yourselves. And if you don't do one of these many options, I've given you five or 10 different ways to build your brand up to build your, your company's brand up or your films brand up. If you don't do one of these things, you will not make it, I promise you, you will not make it. If you're going to just do it the old way like they did back in the 90s. You know, which is where my mind was stuck for so many damn years, where you think you're gonna make an independent film, go to some festivals, and then all of a sudden, your career's gonna go off the ground. That's not the way the world works today. The sooner you understand that, the better. Like I said, there's always outliers. But generally speaking, for the rest of us, that's not going to work, it's going to be a long grind, a good grind, a journey to get attention to get us, you know, rise in status within whatever field, you're trying to get into all of those things in order to move forward and closer to the dream that you're trying to achieve. And one last thing, I'm going to say that it's kind of about marketing, kind of not about marketing, but I think it's something that needs to be said, I've said it before, but I'm gonna say it again. I personally love the journey. Now. I personally love the grind of every day. And I call it grind, but I use grind is a very loving word. I love it. I wake up every morning excited to do this every day. I love doing what I do. And you've got to fall in love with your grind with your journey. Because so many of us are focused on the destination. And I was I would say, I'm not happy until I get there. You'll never be happy guys, I promise you, you'll never be happy. Because when you get to those points, then there's nothing else then you've got to start another journey. Where are you going to spend most of your time on the journey or at the destination. You know, if you're going to take a road trip where you're gonna spend most of your time, you're gonna spend most of your time on the way to the destination. And then you're at the destination for a little while, and then you're gone. And you're on to the next journey. You've got to learn how to love the journey. And if you're on a journey right now that you're not loving, you need to ask yourself, How can I change that? How can I change my life? How can I change my world in a way that I love what I do every day? I know a lot of you have different situations, different scenarios in your life right now financial concerns, I get all that. But you just got to ask yourself one simple question. How bad do you want it? Sit there for a second and ask yourself that question. How bad do you want it? Am I willing to put in the work to get to where I want to be? That is the question you have to ask yourself to look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself that question. What do I need to do? What am I willing to do to get to my Dream Am I willing not to watch Game of Thrones tonight for an hour. So I can read something, listen to a book, listen to a podcast, take an online course, to educate myself to move myself forward in a place where I need to be in my life. These are things you need to ask yourself, guys. And this goes along with the marketing and the branding, because it's work. It's my God, it's work, I promise you, it's going to be work. But I tell you, it will pay off. All of you are marketers, whether you know it or not, whether you like it or not. Every time you post something, you're a marketer. Anytime you're on social media, you're a marketer. When you try to go to a young lady or a young man and try to pick them up, in a bar, you're marketing yourself to them. Everything is marketing, everything is branding. You need to understand these concepts. In the future, I'm going to create more resources for you guys, in regards to marketing and branding. Even more than I have, in the past, be a little bit more focus, be a little bit more actionable stuff that you can actually really go out and do. And I'm going to just keep pounding you guys, because I want you to succeed. I don't want to see you give up. I don't want to see you not get to the fullest potential that you have. Why are we here? If it's not to follow our effin dreams, I hope this podcast lit a fire in your butt. If you want to read a couple of good books that I recommend, I'm going to put these books in the show notes. You've got to read Seth Godin. Seth Godin is an amazing, amazing guy. And some of his books are invaluable. You need to read the purple cow, you really need to read this as marketing. And you need to read tribes. Those three books will help you dramatically on understanding marketing and branding and social media. Another one you need another couple books you need to read are crushing it by Gary Vaynerchuk and crushing it by Gary Vander Chuck, as well as the Thank You Economy by Gary Vee, those books, if you can read those books, you can go on Audible and get them you can actually sign up for Audible for free. Also, I'll put the link in the description, or go to film a free film book calm. And you can sign up for a free account and get one of these books for free for 30 days. It's that simple. And at least you can get the ball rolling, or buy these books however you want to ingest them get these these, these six books that I just throw out there. There's many more, I plan to do more and more of this kind of stuff in the future, creating more valuable content in regards to marketing, branding, and getting you guys to get up off your butts and do it. That's what I want you to do. I don't want you to complain, I don't want you to hide behind things. I don't want you to be afraid. You've got to go out there and do it. Alright. I hope this episode was valuable to you and will help you on your journey which you should be loving, by the way, getting to where you need to be. Please share this episode, please share the podcast with as many people as you can. I want this information to get out there to as many people as humanly possible. Because I really am so passionate about this work that I do this, this message that I'm trying to get out there. I want it to get out there to as many people as I can to. And I need you guys to try to help with that. So I really truly appreciate it. If you want links to the books and things I talked about in this episode, head over to indiefilmhustle.com/294 for the show notes. And guys, if you haven't heard, but I doubt that you haven't. But if you haven't heard, I wrote a book and it's called shooting for the mob. And it is my crazy misadventures trying to make a $20 million film for a mobster. And I was taken out through Hollywood met billion dollar producers. big giant movie stars. I even got to be Batman, which the stories in the book so you'll have to read it there. But if you want to preorder the book, head over to indiefilmhustlecom/mob. That's mob indiefilmhustlecom/mob, preorder it on Amazon, it comes out February 22. Please spread the word I really want to get this story out there it is not only a cool story about how not to follow your dream as a filmmaker in the business and the crazy misadventures through Hollywood and the mafia. But it also is a story about how to not sell your soul to the devil to make your dream come true. How not to compromise your own morals. How to stand up for yourself how to get out of bad situations, and many other things that I think are more universal for everybody listening. So thank you guys again, so, so much. There's a ton of great stuff coming up on IFH TV tomorrow with dumping a whole bunch of new stuff on the platform. And don't forget February 1 IFH TV goes up to the regular price of $13.99 a month. So if you're already in at $10.99, you're in there until you leave. So you're grandfathered in. But if you want to take advantage, you want to check things out for indie film hustle TV, do it before the end of the month. If not, it's going to go up to $13.99 a month and it will not go back down to $10.99 a month. So thank you again, so much for listening. I really, really hope this episode helped you guys out. And as always, keep that hustle going. Keep that dream alive. And I'll talk to you soon.