The Immigration Guy

How Do I Build My Brand? Ft. Zachary Walker

August 09, 2023 Season 3 Episode 1
How Do I Build My Brand? Ft. Zachary Walker
The Immigration Guy
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The Immigration Guy
How Do I Build My Brand? Ft. Zachary Walker
Aug 09, 2023 Season 3 Episode 1

Uncover the secret to building a brand that propels your business to new heights. Zachary Walker shares practical strategies for crafting a compelling brand story, ensuring consistency across all media, and leveraging online platforms. Whether you're a seasoned business owner or just starting out, this podcast episode is a must-listen for unlocking the true power of your brand and driving business success in today's competitive marketplace.

If you're interested in talking with one of our Business Relationship Developers about solving your business labor needs, click the link and fill out your contact information. We will get back to you shortly!

Sign up for our free webinars using the links below:

Send an email to if you'd like to be featured in an episode, if you have a question Kyle can answer, or if you'd like to purchase an advertisement on the podcast.

Follow Kyle Farmer on LinkedIn, here.
Subscribe to our monthly Immigration Insider Newsletter, here.

**The information provided on this podcast does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available are for general informational purposes only. Listeners of this podcast should contact their attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal matter.  No reader, user, or browser of this site should act or refrain from acting on the basis of information on this site without first seeking legal advice from counsel in the relevant jurisdiction.  Only your individual attorney can provide assurances that the information contained herein – and your interpretation of it – is applicable or appropriate to your particular situation.  Use of, and access to, this podcast or any of the links or resources contained within the description do not create an attorney-client relationship between the listener and Kyle Farmer. **

Produced & Edited By: Drew Tattam

Show Notes Transcript

Uncover the secret to building a brand that propels your business to new heights. Zachary Walker shares practical strategies for crafting a compelling brand story, ensuring consistency across all media, and leveraging online platforms. Whether you're a seasoned business owner or just starting out, this podcast episode is a must-listen for unlocking the true power of your brand and driving business success in today's competitive marketplace.

If you're interested in talking with one of our Business Relationship Developers about solving your business labor needs, click the link and fill out your contact information. We will get back to you shortly!

Sign up for our free webinars using the links below:

Send an email to if you'd like to be featured in an episode, if you have a question Kyle can answer, or if you'd like to purchase an advertisement on the podcast.

Follow Kyle Farmer on LinkedIn, here.
Subscribe to our monthly Immigration Insider Newsletter, here.

**The information provided on this podcast does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available are for general informational purposes only. Listeners of this podcast should contact their attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal matter.  No reader, user, or browser of this site should act or refrain from acting on the basis of information on this site without first seeking legal advice from counsel in the relevant jurisdiction.  Only your individual attorney can provide assurances that the information contained herein – and your interpretation of it – is applicable or appropriate to your particular situation.  Use of, and access to, this podcast or any of the links or resources contained within the description do not create an attorney-client relationship between the listener and Kyle Farmer. **

Produced & Edited By: Drew Tattam

[00:00:00] Hello. Welcome back. Happy freaking Wednesday. Today. We're sitting down with Zachary Walker. He's the VP of social media for the motion agency and a public speaker and marketing consultant for small businesses and entrepreneurs. He's worked with iconic brands like Burt's Bees, Clorox, Oscar Mayer, Fireball Whiskey, Kool Aid and many more.

Welcome Zachary. Thanks for taking time to join the show today. It's really great to meet you. 

Same here, Kyle. Thanks for having me on. I'm really looking forward to the conversation. 

Hey y'all, this is the immigration guy with Kyle Farmer.

That's cool. You've had, you've had some impact on all those, man, it is hard to even read the word fireball whiskey anymore. Yes, it is. I remember when it [00:01:00] first came out, they They didn't like release it all over the place. Like there were, you know, there are special pockets where they released it. Austin was one of them, unfortunately.

And it was really easy to get here and everyone loved it. And I don't know that I still want to love it. I mean, I would go out there and I would still try it, you know, it might be worse to read than it is to taste right now. 

Exactly. But no, it's true. Um, I'm a huge proponent of, I used to have this saying, uh, called live the brand, love the brand.

And. Um, as a marketer, I tried to truly embody the brands that I worked on. And, uh, as you can probably imagine, um, living the brand for fireball whiskey was definitely a little bit of a challenge. Uh, so I don't use it as much, um, as often as a saying now that that's probably why, but, um, yeah, it was, yeah, I've definitely, uh, A lot of late nights on the weekends, um, you know, imagine people are tweeting at you, tagging you on Instagram and it's just them ripping [00:02:00] shots.

So yeah, very, uh, very interesting time, but it was a blast. Um, I love that. 

I love to picture you walking into a bar, wearing a fireball suit. It's just like a suit that says Fireball all over it. One, you know you're getting all the free shots you need. That, that's a given. But two, you would just be the life of the party.

I've actually seen, I don't know if I've seen Fireball. I've definitely seen Tito's suits at the Kentucky Derby. Different alcohol related suits. 

That's a little classier. I'll give him that. I will say, uh, Fireball is known for having... Uh, a onesie. I've actually got like a pajama onesie , and I'm like, that's way more their speed than a Tito's tuxedo or a Tito's suit.

Like that does. Those two things seem very similar. And then the fireball onesie is definitely something. But yeah, I mean you um, we used to do a lot of research. Research, uh, going to local bars all over the city and, um, yeah, talking to, talking to people, young adults in their mid [00:03:00] twenties. Why do you like fireball?

What's, uh, you know, your shot of choice and try to create content around that to hopefully, um, as they call it, ignite the night. Um, so that's, uh, that was their slogan that we used. And, um, yeah, it was a really interesting time working with influencers. I worked with, uh, Wayne Kona, the flaming lips. Um, he's a huge fireball whiskey fan.

So we sent him a little surprise and delight package and then. Um, yeah, you'd be surprised. It's a lot more people, uh, actually drink it. Maybe they don't say they, they do, but I'm sure, you know, if, if somebody's ordering around, uh, most people will raise their hand and go, I'll have one for now. Yeah. 


No, I've actually heard, I can't, who actually makes Fireball? Who's the parent company? It's Sazerac, 

uh, based in, yeah. So they actually use interesting facts. So you're kind of right about, uh, Fireball not being, uh, initially released nationally. So it actually. Uh, was inspired by Dr. McGillicuddy's. So you, depending on who you're talking to, if you're like, Oh, Dr.

McGillicuddy's, then they recognize [00:04:00] that brand. Um, so they kind of changed the branding a little bit, did a pivot and said, why don't we try to market towards a younger audience? And so. Fireball was that opportunity. Um, but yeah, they're part of the Sazerac family and it's, um, at least when I worked on the brand, it was a top five, uh, liquor brand in terms of sales.

Um, yeah. 

It's a, I wouldn't be surprised, but it's still pretty high. I mean, like. Fireball is one of those things that everyone knows what it is, and you don't have that with other shots. Like, I mean, maybe other, maybe other liquors to some extent, but I don't even think that's true. Like if you, if you wouldn't have named five different gins, I would be like, I have no idea what you're talking about.

But if you walked up to me and said, we'll do a shot fireball, I'd be like, Oh God, let's do it. I'll do it. I'll do it. 

It's fine. I'll do it. There's a lot of brand equity in that. Um, yeah, it's interesting when you have a product that is, uh, very polarizing, um, where even the people that don't like it, uh, they still have either tried it or, [00:05:00] um, you know, that's still would probably be their go to then, you know, any other alcohol, like you just, you know, you listed.

Yeah. Yeah. Cool. Well, can you share your personal experience with building brands throughout 

your career? Yeah, definitely. Um, so you kind of listed off some of the brands that I've been fortunate to work on in the past. Um, and my time at different advertising agencies has really given me the opportunity to be in the room when big iconic brands like an Oscar Meyer or a Kool Aid are trying to figure out how do we take our brand mission, our brand vision.

And translate that into digital marketing efforts or specifically in my realm, social media content. Um, so I've seen it for big brands. I've also seen it for challenger brands. Um, you know, brands like A2 Milk, which is like an alternative dairy product, um, where they're trying to establish themselves in their respective categories.

And so I've been able to witness firsthand the power of brand building. And what I mean by that is, um, making [00:06:00] sure that you as an organization, but also your customers, your clients, your employees understand who you are as an organization and what you stand for. So, um, You know, whether you're a big business like Oscar Mayer, a part of the Kraft Heinz, you know, family, or you're just a small business entrepreneur who's got a team of three people.

Um, having that, uh, vision and statement is how you succeed. And where I've seen the most success is when brands say, this is who we are as a brand as an organization and our actions align with who we are as a brand. When you have the opposite where you say, this is who we are, but our actions don't necessarily ladder up to who we say we are, that's where you see that disconnect and that's where you see people either, uh, complaining on social media or, um, complaining via their wallets and either not purchasing a product, um, or going to direct competitors.

So. Yeah, 

I, I think that's a pretty easy, uh, demonstration would be Bud Light there. They, [00:07:00] they put themselves out as like this. You know, small, rural, uh, type of beer, you know, that blue collar type of beer. And then you see what happens when they go directly contrary to that. They just fell off a 

cliff. Yeah.

And it's interesting, you know, I think I've been fortunate enough to not work on a brand that's gone through something similar as Bud Light is going through or what Target is going through right now. But, you know, I think if I was to share a lesson or an insight from that is, um, A lot of these brands are seeing that feedback because they're pivoting back and forth.

And so whether it's right or wrong, I think, you know, for example, if you look at, um, really any other major beer brand, Coors Light, uh, Miller Light, um, I'm sure every other one's part of those big umbrellas, but they're all doing other things in part of, uh, Pride Month or helping support the LGBTQ plus community.

And when you're, depending on what other side you're on, if [00:08:00] you. See a brand, make that pivot, and then you voice your frustration or your disappointment. I mean, they pivot back, you're not helping both sides feel like they've lost when a brand does what Bud Light does. But if you put your metaphorical flag in the sand, you'll at least keep hopefully one side pleased because they still feel like that you're standing for them.

And yeah, I completely agree. I think it is interesting that, um, brands like Bud Light are considered. You know, blue collar where, um, you know, I drink Bud Light in college. Like that was just a beer choice. Maybe that was because of the price and maybe not necessarily lifestyle, but it's, it's really interesting.

And, and, you know, I think it's been. I won't say great to watch, but it's been, uh, a learning experience as a marketer to kind of see how brands big and small are trying to navigate, um, I guess, culture, um, as a whole. Yeah. 

Yeah. The interesting thing to me about the Bud Light thing was exactly what you just pointed out is that Bud Light [00:09:00] wasn't the first one to do this.

Like it, you know, Jack Daniels did, did something relatively similar. Last year, and it just didn't get the attention, but that's also the danger in branding is you never know what's going to gain the attention and where people are going to put their focus. And then you can either make it, you can either make or break a brand pretty quickly.

It's kind of, kind of interesting, especially in Bud Light is particularly great. Like the, the, the implications are particularly wild to me because of how longstanding that brand has been. And how quick the decline is, I mean, it's like, it's like overnight. There's no way that they could have had that in a business plan at the beginning of the year.

What if one of our branding strategies goes off the rails? No, that they never talked about that in a boardroom. And then they have a, a, a, a branding message that's inconsistent with their [00:10:00] client base generally. And it just. Tanks. 

Yeah. It's interesting. It is interesting. I'll say this as a last tidbit, you know, the impact will be interesting.

So I saw an article that came out maybe last week, but let's say the financial impact of Bud Light's decision has negatively impacted their profitability, um, where they're close to losing the number one, uh, domestic beer. Or number one light beer in the market space number two right now is currently Modelo.

Modelo is owned by Anheuser Busch. So, you know, it's one of those things where it's like people are buying Les Paul Light and buying Modelo maybe. And at the end of the day, Anheuser Busch is still getting their sales. So, um, It is definitely an interesting, uh, we'll say case study in it. But, um, yeah, it's been great as a marketer to learn from these, uh, events.

Yeah. Yeah. Don't do that to a brand. All right. Uh, cool. What are the key elements of a successful brand and how [00:11:00] can listeners incorporate that into their own business? 

Yeah. Uh, great question. I'd love to hear your thoughts too. I think You know, I spent some time thinking about this and there are probably a few things that have come to mind pretty consistently throughout my career.

And I think, um, we are, this is a great segue from that, but like conversation, but I think the first thing is identifying your target audience. Um, you know, who are you trying to reach with your brand? What are their needs? What are their worries, concerns? What are their pain points? Um, and then how can your brand or your business help alleviate those pain points?

Um, and really it's understanding what purpose does my business serve? Um, so whether you're an Oscar Mayer or you're a small business entrepreneur, um, what is the purpose of your business and why did you start it? I think once you know who your target audience is, that's when you can kind of tailor your branding, your messaging, your marketing efforts, um, to help appeal to them.

And so that's normally where I like to start. Um, if you don't know where to start, then research your competitors. Um, look at what's going on in this space. Who's doing things. [00:12:00] that you think are doing things really well, who's struggling and where could you maybe uh, do something different and fill that need?

Um, by understanding what's going on in your space, regardless of industry, you're going to just be more well informed. Um, and that can be, you know, as a social media marketer, I look at my, my clients, competitors, social channels. Um, I look at what's going on from an investor standpoint, you know, what are.

Their leadership team talking about an investor calls, um, find ways to help differentiate your brand, um, by doing that research upfront. Um, I think another one that's really important too, is, uh, defining your brand's purpose and your position. So we kind of talked about this a little bit, but like, what's your brand's mission?

Um, you know, what makes your brand unique, you know, You could talk about any industry, right? But let's say gym sneakers. Uh, there's a billion shoes out there. What makes your brand the right fit for me? Is it because I'm a runner and I should get the best shoes for my, uh, regiment when I run, is it, I'm [00:13:00] really into street wear, so I don't really care about comfort.

I want design or flashy, um, you know, souls or things like that. Um, once you find out what makes your brand unique, you can offer that value and that differentiation to your customers. Um, and I think that's just a really great opportunity there. Um, but yeah, I'd love to get your thoughts too. I mean, as an entrepreneur, like what do you think, uh, has led to you having a successful brand and, and you know, what would you share for your listener?


yeah, no, I, I think that the first thing that you said, uh, is, I mean, that has to be the first step, which is identify who you're actually marketing to, because if you don't do that, you're just shooting a shotgun and hoping that you hit something. And, and so, and then I guess the other things are. With with your branding with your marketing, you want to be clear, going to be clear how you're targeting those specific people.

And you address that one exactly how I would to what are their pain points? Where are they struggling? And you you target those particular [00:14:00] things saying, Okay, how can I be a solution to whatever those pain points are? The other one is to be concise. No one likes a long winded marketer. Anytime I get like a marketing outreach, outreach email, and it's long, I ignore it.

If it's very short, I'll read it. I mean, like, and I think that that's something that people, people don't do very well. They say, Oh my gosh, look at how awesome I am. Look at how many awards I've won. Uh, look at how I can help you. And then at the end, they'll say, you want to schedule a 10 minute call? I'm like, it took me 10 minutes to read your email.

No, I don't want that. I want the short email that conveys relevancy. Why are you emailing me? That's concise. Uh, that's relatable and that has a call to action. I think that those are the perfect things in an email. And then I guess the other thing this is also relevant, I think, to the Bud Light thing is don't worry about pleasing everyone like you, you have your [00:15:00] specific client base, please your specific client base and don't worry about all the people that might get mad at you or not like your messaging.

Who cares? They're not your clients. What difference does it make if you're, if you try to please everyone, you're going to please no one. So, and Bud Light's a perfect example of that, but yeah, those are basically the tips that I would do. And I think that you kind of have to always put it within that framework.

One thing that I think that marketing agencies like to do, uh, Is they really like to target so like, let's say that I was working with a marketing agency, which I'm not, uh, but let's, let's say that I was working with a marketing agency, nothing against marketing agencies. It's just that whenever you do a certain amount of marketing, a lot of times it doesn't, it didn't work.

It worked out for me, but, uh. Generally, I think market marketing agencies are a good thing, but what a lot of marketing agencies like to do [00:16:00] is they would rather fluff up the ego of the client than actually achieve results. And I get it, like, uh, an entrepreneur might have an ego that says, Oh, no, look how great they make me look.

Look how they make me look on LinkedIn. Uh, look how. Many Twitter followers. I have, I don't know. Uh, but none of that really matters. What, what matters is the amount of money I put in, the amount of money that comes out as a result of the money amount of money I put in also is ROI. So, uh, as it relates to marketing.

My, my main advice is two, and this is a little bit different than branding, I would say. Mm-hmm. , uh, but as it relates to marketing, the one piece of advice I give people on marketing is never do marketing. You can't track the r o I in mm-hmm. because a lot of people are gonna try to sell you on that. It's, but let me get you on this video.

Let me, uh, let me, [00:17:00] let me take over your PPC. Let me take over your SEO and show you how many more clicks I can get on your website. I don't give a rat's ass about clicks. Who cares about clicks? I care about clients. And so that's, uh, that's the main advice I have for people. 

No, that's really great advice.

And we align on a lot of that. I think, um, it's one of the great things about social media that I always say it's a blessing and a curse that it continues to evolve year after year. I mean, I've been in this space for a decade plus now, and, um, it is very different now than it was 10 years ago, like most industries, but we're talking about technology has changed.

You know, even ROI, being able to track that is super important and it's, it's great that our clients are asking for those types of things because at the end of the day, you're right. It doesn't matter how many placements you get or how many influencers are talking about your brand. If you're not seeing a noticeable lift in profit or whatever your KPI is, you know, clients booked, um, you know, leads brought [00:18:00] in, then it's not really effective.

Um, and so I'm a huge fan of that. And I think, uh, it's really great. And I love that idea too, about, you know, I call that find your tribe, uh, in terms of not being able to please everyone because there's no business that, uh, works for everybody. So you might as well put your efforts towards. The folks that are actually day in and day out breathing your brand or purchasing your products or looking to you for services that you render.


Yeah, no, I think that's exactly right. How did you get into this to begin with? 

Yeah, great question. Um, so I graduated from college thinking. Uh, I wanted to do digital marketing for an international business. Um, I had taken a bunch of foreign languages throughout my, uh, high school, grade school and college career.

And I was like, Oh, this is great. I love marketing and I love travel and different foreign languages. So I was like, I'll work for like a tech company and in China where I can use my Mandarin and. Uh, do all [00:19:00] that fun stuff. Got out, realized there's not a ton of jobs like that. So crazy, right? Um, it's, uh, but at least I didn't go too far off.

But, um, so made the pivot and, um, I actually got into the FinTech space. So I started My first job out of college, I was the first hire at a, um, FinTech startup, uh, called RippleShot. And we basically sold, uh, a financial technology to banks and credit unions across the United States. Did that for about two years, realized I love marketing, but I really did not like selling to banks at the time.

It was a long lead cycle. Um, it's very hard to prove that ROI, especially if you're, you know, if it takes a year to close a deal, you're not going to see that ROI for a year. Right. So, um, Did that. I was like, I don't know what I want to do next. And everybody I talked to, and these were all entrepreneurs. So I probably should have kept that in mind when I said my age, but they were all like, do not go into the advertising industry.

Like, you're not going to like it. It's crazy hours. People, everybody I know doesn't like [00:20:00] it. And me being, I guess, stubborn at the time. Um, that's where I ended up and I ended up in an advertising agency and I loved it. Um, I love the work that I was doing. That's where I started working on Oscar Meyer and a lot of those big brands.

Yeah. Um, and it actually led to my first speaking opportunity, um, where I got to share the stage with the former CMO of Kraft Heinz at the time. And we just talked about Oscar Mayer and this campaign that we ran and then I was like, all right, this is clearly there's something here. I'm doing a good job at work.

I'm able to speak about my work and it seems to be leading me down the right path. And since then, I've basically done some form of social media or digital marketing, um, at either agencies. Or you go to the brand side where let's say you work at, you know, Target, you could be a social media manager at Target or lead social at Target.

Um, and so I did that at two different stints, but I was actually in the cannabis industry. And so my career has basically been advertising at an agency, cannabis industry, doing social media and influencer marketing back to the agency life. [00:21:00] Then I went back to cannabis and now I'm back in the agency life again.

So, um, it's been a unique journey, but I think it's been the right one for me. So I'm, I'm grateful for it. Yeah, no, 

that's really cool. That's really cool. Thanks. Awesome. What are, what are some common mistakes that you've seen or misconceptions that visitors make when they're trying to build a brand? 

Um, we've kind of talked about the inverse of them.

So I think Those common mistakes, right, are not being consistent with your branding. Um, that's everything from visuals to your slogan, to your website, to how you talk about your business when you're either on a call or, um, networking at an event, um, it's super important to be consistent with your marketing as well as how you interact with your potential customers, clients.

Um, potential employees. Um, so it's tactically things like using the same font, same colors, imagery, things like that, but it's also more organizational level where you're. Like, [00:22:00] this is who we are, this is what we believe in, um, and we're going to show up in this way as often and as regularly as we can. So I think that's really important.

Um, you know, tying it back to social media, we say just post consistently. You don't have to post every day, just post if you're, if you can do once a week, do once a week and just show up so that your audience knows, Hey, this brand or this business posts once a week. I know what I can look forward to as a customer or as a follower.

Um, speaking of customers and followers, not listening to your customers. Um, so, you know, I think that's another big one too. I think as entrepreneurs or as business owners, um, and even as marketers, we like to think we know our audience or we like to think we know our target, uh, customer base, but you don't really, unless you talk to them directly.

So, um, that's actually why I love social media because it gives. Brands, a direct line of communication to current customers, potential customers, um, and even people you've pissed off, whether it's due to your own [00:23:00] actions or theirs. Um, so it's a really great opportunity to kind of get some really unique insights without having to host like a focus group or be on the street and interview people.

You can let them come to you and let them share authentically what they think about

your brand. So how do you, how do you differentiate those two? Like let's say that you're on Twitter. And you have your specific audience that you're targeting. And then you post something that offends a whole bunch of people. And all those people flood your Twitter with retweets and comments and blah, blah, blah, blah.

How are you, how would you sort out the people that you care about offending versus the people you don't care about offending? 

Yeah, that's a really good question. Um, and it's challenging, right? Like I've been in those rooms where, uh, you're like all hands on deck, something's going on, whether we did it or not.

Um, we had to figure out what we do. And as a business owner or the people that I work with, [00:24:00] um, our clients, you know, they are the people that internally people come to them. What do we do? What do we say? And, and a lot of the times the best advice is to take a step back and evaluate where those messages are coming from.

So I think to your point, right, if. You as a business owner, or let's say, you know, Patagonia is a great example. They stand for sustainability. It's everything they do, all their profits now are going to help sustainability efforts and to make the place, the planet a more green place. Um, if for example, they decided to change that and they said, sustainability is no longer important.

Profit is. You would get a lot of current Patagonia customers saying, I am very disappointed with your decision to stop caring about the environment and start caring about profit. That's where you go, okay, maybe we are actually upsetting or offending our current customer base. That's where you go. If, you know, you're a brand that maybe has been on the sidelines when it comes to, uh, the [00:25:00] LGBTQ plus community.

And then you say, hey, we can no longer sit on the sidelines. This is important to us as an organization because our employees are passionate about it. And you come up with the statement. And you say, this is where we want to be an ally. We want to support that community. And you start getting flack from people that don't purchase your product.

You've never heard from them before. You can kind of tell, right? Those messages are not really about the business. It's more about you're upsetting me because of what I believe in. That's when you got to go, okay. There are trolls. We can't really do anything about that. It is a curse of social media that because you are so accessible, you are so accessible.

So you're accessible for the people that love you as well as the people that don't. Um, and so when brands go into those moments from a social media perspective, I go, let's take a look, have these people interacted with our brand before, or are they just a random account? Um, sometimes people don't really do a lot of detective work and you can kind of look on Twitter and go.

This person's never posted before in their entire life and they're, all their tweets are directly targeted to us. [00:26:00] Probably some sort of troll or somebody who's just trying to build up a negative emotions about our brand. And you can't really do anything about that. So I think that's when you kind of lean in and say, let's focus our efforts on the people that really care about us or that are really aligned with what we stand for as an organization.

And then try to ignore the discourse when you can. It's easier said than done, but, um, You know, if you have a goal in mind, stick to that goal. Yeah. 

Man, that seems like that would be really labor intensive. Like, you get a whole bunch of people fired up on Twitter. You get like, no, no, 50, 000 comments and 80% of them are negative.

You're going through your 40, 000 comments like, nope, nope, nope. Oh, that one matters. And then that, that seems like a, it seems like a good use of AI right there. Yes. 

Yes. Or, uh, thankfully there are tools, right. That can, you know, analyze sentiment. And so it's really just looking for keywords, but, you know, I think.[00:27:00] 

I don't know if I would look through 40, 000 comments or my team go through 40, 000, but I will say this. I think something that keeps me motivated is being able to see the impact, a positive impact that my brand or my clients brands have. So you know, let's say you write, let's say 80% of the comments are negative.

If I see those 20% that are positive and say like, thank you for doing what you're doing, you're helping my life or you're helping my loved ones. Um, that's the fuel that keeps me going. That's where I'm like, all right, that's where I need to be spending my time and my efforts. So, you know, it's very easy to get stuck in the mud of looking at negative comments or things like that.

And I'm thankful. I don't do that as much as I used to, but, um, you know, those positive moments are the ones that you should really focus on and, and hopefully give you the fuel to keep doing what you're doing. Um, so 

that brings up an interesting question. Is there such a thing as. Um, because you mentioned like a Twitter, let's say someone on Twitter that [00:28:00] comments, they only comment on your stuff and they only give you negative feedback.

Is there such a thing as someone on Twitter that's only giving you positive feedback so that you continue to promote certain types of branding that they might try to construe as more popular than they actually are? 

I guess by definition, the answer would be yes, right? If there's people that are doing it negatively, there are probably people doing it positively in terms of pushing a certain message.

I will say it's funny because I, um, am really into basketball. And so I watch a lot of the NBA. And there's always those running jokes that there are players, superstar level players that have burner accounts where like, Oh, there was a joke, right? Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Exactly. Right. So, so like, why would somebody who's at the pinnacle of their sport or whatever their industry or their field need a burner account to help promote how good they are as an athlete?

[00:29:00] And so, yeah, I could definitely see that. I think. You kind of hit the nail on the head, right? Like, do you have time for that? I don't like any of my own perspective. I could definitely create a social media account and just promote every single post that I create or every article that I share. I don't have time for that.

Or if, or maybe I don't think that the time spent is worth. The value of that. So I think there are definitely opportunities where people probably elevate, you know, their brand or their message or their campaign, but is it really moving the needle or are you spending an extra hour a day and it's only one like, or one retweet or one comment?

But yeah, I could definitely see that if Kevin Durant allegedly,

I could see other people doing it as 

well. If there, if there's a one NBA player that has a burner account, it's got to be Kevin Durant. It just, it just does. Kevin Durant is 

soft. And that's an [00:30:00] ego thing, right? It's not really, Kevin Durant has a need to. Tell the world that he's one of the best basketball players.

He can just show up and tell you watch him. He's really good at basketball, but for whatever reason, yes. So yeah, I could see it. And to me, that's like an ego thing, right? It's like, I want to make sure that I feel valued or my opinion feels valued. But, um, yeah, there's bigger, bigger, bigger and better things going on.

Yeah, no. What, so one place that I do see that all the time, which is like really funny to me is in. State political races. So like you'll have, uh, you know, like we had a governor's race this last election cycle. And if you got on Beto O'Rourke's Twitter account, you can look at all of the the responses and the vast majority of them were from people outside of Texas.

And then the funny thing was, is, and I think that this is one of the reasons why he just got destroyed [00:31:00] is Sure. He responded to those Twitter followers more than actual Texas Democrat voters. And it's just funny because it's like a Democrat voter in California is not the same thing as a Democrat voter in Texas.

And, and they, but he was, I mean, he, he would really go toward, like in Texas, even the Democrats in Texas generally. Are pretty pro second amendment, uh, individuals. And he's, he's the, he started, you know, he started off as the, I'm not going to take guns and then, Oh, damn right. I'm coming after your AR 15, your AK 47.

Then he dropped out of the presidential election or after that. And then he bit him in the ass pretty hard during his governor race. But it was just funny to watch because you could see it in real time. Like he posts something on Twitter, all the comments on Twitter. Are that are promoting that he leans in harder and drops in the Texas polls and it was like you could see it just in [00:32:00] live time.

It was pretty wild. So I didn't know if that was a thing for branding more generally, but you definitely see it on a political side. It is 

and I think it is an important thing to and you know, on the flip side coming from Chicago. And so, you know, on the flip side. You hear the discourse about Chicago being unsafe, very dangerous, um, from mostly outside of the city and even outside of the state.

Um, but when you spend time here, you know, I was connecting with a few friends last week, um, on the zoom call and four or five of them were in Chicago. The past weekend. And I was like, they all had a great time. So I think, you know, on that flip side, you know, it is interesting, right? Where you have to know your audience.

And I think, you know, it's great to. For example, Beto O'Rourke's position, it's great to know that people outside of your state love you, but at the end of the day, coming back to ROI, he has to win over the people in his state in order to make progress on what he set out to do as a politician. So yeah, I think in the same boat, same with branding, you know, if you're a...

[00:33:00] Um, if you're a company based in California and maybe people outside of California love your brand. But I always think about it like a surfing example, right? Like if you're a, if you sell surfboards, it's cool that people in Chicago love your brand, but like I'll never purchase a surfboard unless I'm regularly in California because I just, I have no need for it.

So it is, it is something that's really interesting to watch and it, whether it's politics, whether it's brands, um, overall business, you name it. So. Yeah, it definitely occurs from a branding perspective too. 

Yeah, I, yeah, it's particularly fun for me from a political perspective because you can see the ones that are on Twitter the most like they're, they, they live on Twitter and you're like, oh no, that's not Twitter.

Twitter is like the real world in some sense. Like it's actual real people talking to each other other than all the bots. But on the other side, it's like, it's also not real world. Because there are, it's a bubble. Yeah, it's a bubble. It is a serious 

bubble. And I I'm that's, [00:34:00] and I'll say if you had this interview or podcasts and a year ago, I'd be like, Twitter is my most active slash favorite platform.

I loved it for those same reasons. It feels very real, but then I also have to recognize that it is a very small subset of. One, the world's population, but even the United States population. Um, and it's very easy to, uh, find your tribe within that platform and not realize that like, Oh, maybe not everybody, uh, views things the same way that I do.


Twitter is a lot of fun. It's a lot of fun just to be on there and watch people just trash each other. Like you're just like, you're just on there and just watching people rail on each other. And then you think like, I have a feeling you probably wouldn't say that in person. Nope, but it is, it's definitely a lot of fun to watch.

Yes, it is. I'm on the sidelines from that perspective. 

I'm just over there and observer. I'm not going to be participating. No. Are, are, what about [00:35:00] tools or resources or books that you'd recommend for, uh, business trying to build their brand? Are there any specific ones you can think of that you would recommend?

Yeah. Um, So a few, I'm going to write off a few people's names. Um, One book that I really love is a book called you are the brand. It's by author and public speaker, Mike Kim. Um, long story short, I was fortunate enough to open for him at a social media conference called social rock, um, here in Rockford, Illinois.

Um, and Mike was the keynote speaker and he just gets it. He understands one branding as a science, as a marketing tool, but is able to distill highly complex information to people that are. marketers. Um, so definitely give him a follow, look at some of his writing and his social media content where he shows some of his public speaking.

Um, speaking of the social rock conference, somebody else that's really awesome at branding as well as. [00:36:00] Um, marketing efforts is Lauren Davis. Um, so she is a marketer, author, brand builder. Um, she's been kind enough to work with me to help position my personal brand. Um, and kind of really narrow in on like.

Like we talked about who is my target audience and who am I trying to serve? And so I was originally like, Oh, I'll do as a freelancer. I can do social media for really anybody. Cause I've done a lot of it. That's not really great. It's hard to get people because they don't know if I'm really good for them.

So working with Lauren, you know, she was like, focus on. What I loved, what she loved about my work was that I was able to take the social media strategies from an Oscar Mayer perspective that really like big brand, you know, brands that operate in the Super Bowl, pull out the actual insights that small business owners and entrepreneurs can use.

And so then I was able to reposition my branding and it's been really helpful because I can go, if you're a small business and entrepreneur. I can help you with [00:37:00] your social media branding and efforts because I've done it at a high level where there's big budgets. And so I'm able to make those scrappy decisions and help you grow your business.

Um, and then like websites, I love HubSpot. It's a great website. It's a great tool, but it's also a great website from a blog perspective. Um, and then something where I actually, uh, love is Morning Brew. They actually have a. Uh, educational arm called learning brew. Um, I've gone through a couple of their accelerators.

Um, one's focused on business essentials. So thinking about branding is part of that, but also like operations, understanding, um, finances, things like that, as well as a leadership opportunity where, you know, really understanding how to not only lead a team, but work within a team. Um, and we were able to focus on a lot of challenges that.

Really at the end of the day, ladder up to branding. So, um, I think anytime you can find a great marketing tool or, you know, an online course that'll really help you. I think those are really, those have been [00:38:00] really impactful for me, um, from a branding 

perspective. That's great. That's great. So what, what's some advisor, just closing thoughts that you'd give to young professionals entering your industry?

That's how you say it. That's code for stay out. 

No, no, no. It's good. Um, I think, I think it's be aware where you're signing up for it. I love the industry. I love the work I do like any industry, right? There's pros and cons. Um, but I think the big things, right, is be afraid to take risks. Um, and you can say that really anywhere, right?

But I think something that's been really impactful for me is, um, you know, I have gone a non traditional route for my professional career. If you look at my LinkedIn, um, I've usually on average, I worked at companies for about a couple of years and then I ended up moving to a different role. Um, usually it's a company that reaches out and says, Hey, we think you're ready for that next level.

Um, and so I'm like, Oh, I'm excited. Let me explore that. [00:39:00] But I think that really helped me. Um, it helped me grow as a professional. It really gave me the opportunity to understand how other businesses in my industry operate. Um. But also to as an opportunity to bet on myself, you know, I could have stayed at a specific role for five plus years and who knows what my career path would have been.

But right now, knock on wood, it's been the right decision for me. So I think be afraid to take risks. Um, I think, 

or don't, don't be afraid to take it. Oh 

yeah. Yeah. Sorry. Don't be afraid to take risks. Yeah. Yes. Um, Thank you. Yes. I appreciate that 


slip there. Yes. I'm definitely not afraid of taking risks.

But, uh, I think another one too is, is, is, you know, find, I say, find your tribe, but like get involved in the things that are most important to you, even if they're not involved in your nine to five role. So, um, you know, during COVID when everybody was at home, I was, I had a lot more free time on my hands, like a lot of people did.

And I was like, how can I help hopefully make the world a better place [00:40:00] doing other work while maybe leveraging my skills from my nine to five. And so I got involved with a nonprofit at the time called Momentum Seekers. Um, where we really just helped young adults who we called rookie activists. Find out about the causes or the topics that are really important to them.

So whether it's environmental rights, it could be racial justice, gender equality, things like that. Um, not only did that fill my soul in terms of, man, I'm helping make the world a better place and I'm not just. Bring in a paycheck, but it also gave me a lot of unique opportunities and experiences to to understand and grow as a professional.

Um, and then I think the last one is be open to change. Um, change is always happening. Um, as a younger millennial. I had dial up, but I'm also did not grow up with a cell phone in my hand. So I'm in between that, you know, that group of, you know, fully being immersed in technology, but still watching it grow.

And I think when you're open to change, you're open to things. [00:41:00] When you recognize that things as they are may not be the same in the future, you are less thrown off. You are less, um, negatively impacted by that because you're like, hey, things are going to change one way or another. But if you're really against change, that's when you see a lot of people that get frustrated or say, like, it's my way or the highway.

And, um, I think we're all in a better place when we recognize that. So that's been really good. And then I think the last one too is, Yeah. Is find ways for balance. Um, I've been saying it recently with my team is I like to reclaim my time. And what I mean by that is, you know, if I'm watching, maybe I could watch two hours of TV or two hours of Netflix.

If I can scale that back and just watch one hour on Netflix a day, that whole extra hour that I have could be used in a variety of things. It could be things around the house. Uh, it could be for writing on my blog. It could be for networking. So finding ways to reclaim your time. So you can. Do the things that you're most passionate about has been really [00:42:00] impactful.

That's great. 

That's great. You've mentioned the time frame where you grew up in technology. I kind of grew up. We grew up in the exact same time. And this last weekend, for whatever reason, I was thinking about the Motorola Razr. Do you remember 

that phone? Yes, never had it, but I wanted it. 

Oh, the good old days of technology.

Oh man, what a, that was the goat of cell phones. 

Yeah, it was out of the time. Yeah. I mean, it was crazy. And now, um, yeah. And it's also funny too. Like, I always say, like. Life is cyclical, culture is cyclical, even technology, right, Beau? When we were growing up, you know, flip phones were, oh, like nobody wants a flip phone or a foldable phone, and now Google has one and it's like the coolest thing in the world.

So yeah, it's very interesting. Exactly. So yeah, it's, it's crazy to witness that. And I think also too, you know, It's been great to be able to work across multiple generations. So like members of my team are [00:43:00] Gen Z. My boss is, um, you know, a baby boomer and it's been great to kind of see how each generation uses technology, looks at culture and views things differently.

And I think that helps me. Stay young, I guess metaphorically. Um, but yeah, it's crazy. I remember the razor. I had a sidekick where it like flipped up and you could like game on your phone. Sidekick. Yeah. I couldn't get the razor, but I got a sidekick. So yeah, it's funny to see how that comes about. 

The sidekick, dude, that phone was enormous.

Yes, it was. I wish that people nowadays understood how huge that phone was. Like you, that was like carrying around a brick. Those things, I had one of those too. Very, very exciting phones. Cool. Well, what's the best ways listeners can connect with you? Um, 

so as a social media professional, I'm on most of the social media platforms.

So, uh, the easiest way to connect with me is either on LinkedIn or Twitter. Um, on LinkedIn, I'm [00:44:00] Zachary Walker on Twitter. My handle is ZAMZADDI. It's Z A M Z A D D I. Um, but honestly, the easiest way to find me is on my website. Um, it's www. walkerzack. com. And you can find all my social media channels there, my writing.

Um, so please reach out. We'll love to get connected and whether talk shop talk about, uh, burner accounts in the NBA Uh, i'm all for it 

Awesome. Well, we certainly appreciate you joining us. It was really good to talk to you. Same here kyle Thanks for having me on. Thank you all for listening to the immigration guy podcast.

We really appreciate it You can find us on our website go to www. You can find me on linkedin and twitter Just search at Kyle Farmer FLPC. You can find our law firm on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube. All you have to do is search for at Farmer Law PC. Go ahead and subscribe to download all the episodes of our podcast.

You can download them and listen to them whenever and wherever you want. [00:45:00] Uh, we'll be releasing new episodes every Wednesday on Spotify, Apple Music, Stitcher, which is apparently a real thing, Amazon Music, Google, and wherever else you get your podcasts. This is not legal advice. So any information that you get from this podcast should not be taken as such.

If you are looking for legal advice, you should consult with a competent attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. If you want to schedule a consultation, just go ahead and use the link in the description of this episode. Thank you.