They say change is the only constant. Well, I think that this statement is nothing more than an oxymoron. You see, change doesn’t hold much relevance in a time and space where consistency is key. Change could mean anything. For some, it could be a makeover – revamping something pre-existing to make it newer, bolder. But if you take a look at the big brands, you’ll notice that they’ve all built their identities through consistency. The big guys like Apple, Amazon, Twitter, etc have remained constant with their brand logos, which is why simple things like an apple with a bite taken out of it reminds us of the brand. Similarly, when you’re building your brand on social media, consistency plays a vital role in laying the foundation of your brand identity. That’s how people remember and recognise you. This is something our cover star David Michigan believes in as well and he’s got many more tips and tricks up his sleeve when it comes to the digital platform. David Michigan plays a plethora of roles when it comes to his profile. When David is not busy with online courses for his Michigan Academy, he curates new and exciting video content and also helps people through his practise of mentalism and self-hypnosis. In addition to all this, David also offers personalised nutrition and training programs so people can work towards their goal of having a healthy body and a sound mind. I don’t know about you, but I sure as hell was curious about how David specialises in so many aspects and that’s exactly what I asked him, “I have always been fascinated by sports from a very young age. My mother wasn’t a professional athlete, but she was very good at judo and she always encouraged me to indulge in sports. I was also studying psychology and self-hypnosis on the side because I had an interest in that as well. I wanted to help people to make their mind stronger through these methods and I started with one-to-one sessions. This was also when the social media aspect came into my life and I wanted to mix my style, my physique and my mentality in a different way.” replied David over a video call from his home back in Paris.
consistency is one thing that plays a vital role in laying the foundation of your brand identity
If you browse through David’s Instagram feed, you’ll come across a lot of unique video content, one of them being a short Spartan warrior-themed video that he shot at the Louvre Museum along with his friend. David credits this video for giving him the push forward and providing the exposure he needed. “What pushed me up was my meeting with my friend Jim Winter, who is my moviemaker. We shot a crazy video in the Louvre Museum of Paris. I was dressed as a gladiator and we recorded a cool video. I know that this particular video was watched a couple of times by people and it turned out to be pretty famous. After this, we kept going and continued to make videos around the world. We also want to promote countries, which is why we are shooting videos in Argentina and Polynesia, to show people the beauty of the landscapes and give multinational messages as well.” replied David.
Over our video call, David told me about his love for magic, “I was a big fan of magic!” he exclaims with childlike enthusiasm, “I used to practise magic all day long! Magic, mentalism and hypnosis was something I enjoyed because I wanted to help people through this. I wanted to make people happy and everyone enjoys magic. I started practising magic when I was 14-years-old and this helped me understand people. I gradually moved into conducting therapy and I used hypnotism for 7-8 years to help people. You can cure almost anything with hypnosis.” For David’s interest in mentalism and self-hypnosis, he puts this to the best use by training people to be stronger not just physically but mentally as well. His online university, the Michigan Academy does just this – “I started Michigan Academy because, in schools, they teach you a lot of things, but they don’t teach you how to face things in the real world. Whatever you learn in school, does it teach you how to be happy in life?” he asked and continued, “A lot of people feel pressurised in school which is why they end up hating it.” David goes back to his early years and tells me about his own school days, about how he was always in the first place and even jumped two classes. But irrespective of all this, he said it wasn’t good enough for him. For David, it was more about mastering the mind and body beyond the requirement of those years in school, something that trains you to stay strong for the long run.
David has always emphasised more on mastering the mind and body that trains you to stay strong for the long.
David was one of those kids who preferred reading a book or playing football over watching TV and in his spare time, he was busy practising magic. He told me that he’s always been this way since he was young – someone who wanted to do a lot of things instead of just projecting his energy into one thing. “Yes, I do a lot of things but I’ve always been this way. I always wanted to do things on my own. I never do passive things in life.” said the man who believes in seizing every minute of his life.
Among the many things that David is well-known for, his physique is something that people admire. David juggles between a lot of things during the day – from shooting videos for his online university to curating eye-catching content for his social media.”Initially, I used to train for three or four hours every day but now I just do the basic things. One hour of exercise every day is enough for me now. I prefer working out in the morning because it keeps me fresh but work takes up my time. I focus my energy in my work and take a break by doing some sports,” replied David. Imagine taking a break from work to exercise or play a sport instead of just plonking yourself on the bed, such an alien concept, isn't it?
Delving into the know-how of his social media success, he told me that one of the important things needed to build your presence online is to value your followers and your feed as well. “You need to be unique. And by this I mean, be yourself and broaden your perspective. Push yourself to cross more limits. Do what you truly love and go all in for it. If you put other’s opinions in front of your own and give them more importance then you won’t go too far. Trust yourself and the brand that you are building. It takes a lot of time to get on the social media radar, but what I recommend is to keep posting. You need to push your content all the time and maintain consistency. When it comes to my strategy, I rely on videos. I have thousands of great photos but I publish them on other platforms like Pinterest instead of Instagram. Photos are dead. If you look at TikTok for instance, and I know that it has been banned in India, but they are just videos and more than a billion people view them. That’s the reach of videos. People watch Netflix and go to the theatres to consume videos..
Photos are dead. If you look at TikTok for instance they are just videos and more than a billion people view them.
I am talking to you through a video as well right now!” he chuckled. “I know it can be hard when you start but you’ll get a hang of it eventually and realise how well your videos do in comparison to regular posts.”
As a blogger or an influencer or even an entrepreneur, you have a certain following, people who look up to you and consume the content you put out, be it good or bad. There’s always someone who’s watching it and getting influenced by it. Using the platform you have to put out things that bring out a positive outcome is vital. “These days it is easy to find bad news everywhere. You turn on the news and there’s something bad. I think as a blogger or an influencer, it is your job to put out content that makes people smile or bring about some positivity. This is one way to change things. If you are criticising things in your video, know that a lot of people are watching it and getting influenced. It is bad. There’s a way to communicate things without it having a negative impact on people. But it is important to focus on the good things. If you post meaningful content that people like seeing, you will make them happy and they will like to watch you again.”
Another thing we chatted about was the need to have an organic following. “If you want to go big, you need to be able to play big as well. Every single brand is using sponsored ads. Like for instance, Coca-Cola is one of the biggest brands and they spend on sponsored ads. Having an organic following is great but it’s also a slow process. Let me give you another example. Do you know why Amazon is so successful? It was the first client for Google ads for over 8 years! You need to inject money into your brand to promote ads to get that broader reach that will boost your exposure by a great extent. This is how people can have a glimpse of your content and the curiosity will bring them to your feed.”
David lives by one mantra, which is – do what you truly love and go all-in for it. “You may be scared to quit your job or hesitant to start something on your own, but you need to realise that time goes by real fast. Take a step towards what you love and stick to it,” he says before signing off.
Perhaps, it is his go-getter attitude towards life that has pushed him forward to do increasingly well in all aspects. Although, one thing’s for sure.
If you want to go big, you need to be able to play big as well. inject money into your brand to get that broader reach.