Standing out online is all about personality, passion and a powerful visual brand. Mars Dorian has all three (and then some).
Over the last couple of years Mars has produced an explosion of colourful cartoons and articles bursting with equally colourful language. His posts are hilarious and highly motivational, with a ton of insight and advice about branding yourself online.
Now it’s time to find out how he will “light a fire under your ass”.
Please can you describe who you are and what you are up to at the moment?
Pleasure. I’m a creative marketer at www.marsdorian.com who helps people stand out online. I use my design and cartoon skills to get my point across visually. So, half-marketer, half-cartoonist. Full marketing artist.
In the future, I want to create beautiful-inspiring products (guides, artwork, books and apps) that I epic-fy with my art and sell with my marketing skills. I want to blow you away.
Did you always know what you wanted to do (creatively) or has it been a process of trial and error to get to the point you’re at now? If it’s the latter, how did you decide what to focus on?
I wish ! My past is one big-ass zigzag line. I always wanted to use my creativity to do biz and inspire peeps from around the globe. But I needed many experiments (read: failures) to get to where I am NOW.
When I started marsdorian.com, it was all about edgy writing in the marketing/branding niche. It was fun, but I missed the creative side – I was a cartoonist back in high school – and I wanted to bring it back into my biz. Plus almost no one in that niche can draw, so I figured it would be a kick-ass USP that’s also FUN to create. Booya.
You have a very unique, flamboyant style both in the way you write and draw which makes you stand out from other bloggers. How would you advise other people to find their own voice?
It always comes down to this: Finding something within you that you’re already good at, and then combining it with something valuable for an audience. Mix those things together, turn it up 3 times higher and voila – you have an online style that people can’t ignore. It’s more about courage than it’s about skills. You have to constantly challenge yourself and blow your comfort zone to smithereens: How can I make this more crazy ? How can this be more edgier ?
Always always turn up the volume – standing out comes from going to the edges. All the way.
You suggest that to get noticed online you need to stand up and loudly proclaim what you believe in even if it means a lot of people will disagree with you. But don’t you think there is also a place for subtlety?
Listen – it’s NOT about the person who’s the loudest. It’s about being ice-crystal clear about your message. You can be super-subtle and still show your message in a way that’s NOT ambiguous. You will use a different word choice and rhythm than a screamer like me, but your belief should just be as PURE.
NEVER confuse people about what you stand for – use your preferred style to show ’em YOUR way.
At the beginning of this year you were being quite hard on yourself in your newsletters and blog posts saying that you messed up last year by not taking enough action. Believe me, I know the feeling.
Do you think you’ve now beaten the inner beast of resistance? What did you to do differently to motivate yourself this year?
Ehh, the eternal INNER battle. I think I’ll still be ranting about my productivity when I’m a retired vegetable and having robots work for me. Sometimes, I feel like I’m riding the waves of creativity. And days after that, I feel like an useless thug who has to waddle through a swamp.
What helps me beat these s(t)uck times is a change of mindset: You realize that it’s never the right moment to create something. You often feel like not doing it – that the moment is not perfect enough, but that’s a fallacy. True productivity and creativity comes when you FORCE yourself to do the work. No complaining. No distraction. You don’t feel like it. So what ? You’re a pro. And a pro always delivers, even though, or especially when he feels like shit.
You also launched a separate blog for your cartoons but decided that having only one site was better.Will you ever launch another site again or is one more than enough?
That one site was an interesting experiment. I was trying to create a cartoon-only site, and selling merchandise to sustain it. It didn’t work – I needed WAYYY too much time creating one comic page, and the stuff wasn’t as viral as I wanted it to be. My strength doesn’t lie in making funny comics, but doing edgy cartoons & designs married with my writing style. But it takes experiments to find that out.
Yess, sometimes I do that – especially on the weekend. Working for yourself means working the way you want. And when I wake up and I feel inspired like heck, I don’t bother putting on my clothes. Why waste the creative moment ?
As long as the cops don’t bust my ass for public harassment I’ll carry on.