Devan Anderson also known by his influencer name @DevanonDeck is a Los Angeles-based Art Director and digital strategist. He consults businesses & individuals on how to effectively establish their brand, build community and communicate their value online. Devan's strongest selling point is his personal brand, which he has grown to nearly 200,000 followers across platforms. He told me that he leverages his influence both as an ongoing proof of concept, and as a tool to empower others. Devan is passionate about having a positive impact on The Creator Class —creatives from different disciplines and industries, whose cross section is the digital sphere— by giving them the tools to brand themselves and design their own futures.
1. Humble Beginnings
Q: How did you get started and what or who inspired and empowered you to?
I got my start in 2013, back in my hometown Oakland. At the time I was a manager at sneaker store; moonlighting as freelance digital content producer for up-and-coming menswear fashion labels. It was the Wild West back then, before we had snazzy buzzwords like “content is king”. Outreach was a daily focus of mine, offering my services to any brand that I thought aligned with me. A few of these later budded into long term relationships that gave me great insight as a marketer in the fashion industry.
Eventually I’d amassed a portfolio of work that I later purposed to land a gig at a major Tech Startup in Los Angeles in 2015, where I was the authority on Men’s Fashion. This gave me access and opportunity to rub shoulders with social media influencers and the fashion elite; many of them evolving into genuine friendships. I’d created a world for myself where I was being educated from both sides of social media, and adopting it all to nurture my personal brand. This combination ultimately empowered me to venture off on my own.
It was almost 2017 when I began freelancing once again; but this time with a uniquely enhanced skill-set. Paired with my ability to create engaging content, I now knew how to measure its effectiveness against marketing and business goals.
Q: What unique and creative strategies if any did you use when you were first getting started?
My first goal was to become my own case study to later utilize for client and partner acquisition. I used my creative edge and tech savvy to grow my audience from 25k to over 100k in less than a year. Having insight on both sides of the coin gave me a huge advantage in this dual role; as a Men’s Fashion personality and digital strategist. In the Style Influencer space there lacked creative content, and the marketing / PR side lacked actual practitionership.
Q: What mindset distinguished you from others who were doing the same thing? How did you develop it?
I’d describe my mindset as a mix between extreme confidence, humility & optimism; it’s 20% nature and 80% nurture. We all have that voice in our heads that doubt us and tell us we can’t, so I combat it by practicing positive self-talk, breaking my larger goals down into attainable ones & staying far away from negative people.
3. What is your definition of success?
I measure my success in my ability to help others be successful. As a husband with a creative and entrepreneurial wife, it’s a priority of mine to make sure I support her in any way I can. Likewise via social media, I’m making strides to have impact in people’s lives at scale; producing free educational videos, and hosting panels and discussion on relevant topics to the creative community.
Q: What do you think is the main reason why some people face failure when going after their vision?
Because it’s inevitable. There’s no successful person that hasn’t faced failure at some point. Winners build on failure & use it to make them sharper.
5. What is the best piece of advice you have received or came across and would like to share with everyone?
Personal brand goes far beyond digital. It’s the energy you bring into a room, how punctual you are & how you treat people that can do nothing for you. Being intentional & genuine with this has opened up doors for me and some of my most successful friends.
If you want to view more of my work visit www.dukuinspires.com or reach out on Instagram at @dukuinspires
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