11 Ways You Need to Kickass Before You're a Marketing or Graphic Design Grad

Updated: Apr 1, 2019

11 Ways to Kickass Before You're a Marketing Grad

Forget Calm and Kickass On

  1. Learn right now, that no one owes you shit. Start hustlin’ your ass off and going after what you want right now. Let me elaborate. It does not matter at all if you are number one or the student that won the big portfolio review at school are constantly gets straight A's. Blah blah blah big deal. I honestly only kinda care if you volunteered a zillion hours. The absolute second you walk the plank you are out here... with every other badass in your industry AND most of them will have 2,3,4 and maybe 20 years on you in experience. Yep. Soloprenuers like me look at posted entry-level job positions as a way for me to convince a company that for less money than an FTE, benefits, and hassle they can have ME - a Kickass veteran with 25 years experience. As soon as you graduate you are now out here in the market competing against me for that dream job or any job you want. So you better be real hungry and start wrangling in your skills and experience and be full stride runnin your A game when you get out here. Mooohahahhhahaha. Ok sorry I had to start all scary, but wanted to make sure you were listening. Let's get back to how you can crush it.

  2. Get a damn business card. Watch my video and eliminate the suck. BONUS: Want to really look like a pro and stand out? Get a professional name tag. Ooooh another kickass video for you. PS – Stop using coolguy5783@gmail.com on that biz card. DOUBLE BONUS – Get your url right now and build your free Wix website with your portfolio and awesomeness.

  3. Create an aggressive hit list of pros to start stalking right now and build your professional network. Like anything, expect a 5% return. Do the math. You gotta go bananas to get anywhere. Stop asking pros to coffee. Ask for a 15 min. phone interview. We’d be total jerk-o-ramas if we said no right? Or, use those awesome social profiles and chat them up online as a fellow pro and skip the “I’m a student” thing all together.

  4. It is perfectly acceptable to stalk those pros from the companies you love at professional business organizations. There are oodles of them in every city. American Marketing Association and Business Marketing Association have all kinds of networkers and events. Meet Up is also a great way to find pros that are super nerds about the marketing stuff you love too. BIG HINT: You should be going to these events to introduce yourself, sling that card, and pick their brain.

  5. Live (and LEVERAGE!) a professional public brand – 70% of all employers search candidates online/social before hiring. Guessing in marketing that is more like 99.9999999%. If you do not already have a LinkedIn account - run, don't walk and get one.

  6. Ah hell this means your profile pic is public too. Set your privacy settings so your friend Petey doesn't tag your ass in photos you don't want employers to find. With the cameras on phones these days and the borderline selfie epidemic happening, there is ZERO reason why you shouldn't have a kickass, but PROFESSIONAL LOOKING photo for your profile pics out on your social. Bonus Tip - guess what if you have a gmail account, I can see the pic attached to it when you email me:)

  7. Create a habit of surrounding yourself with kickass people. BONUS: Especially people who are kickass at things you are not kickass at. DOUBLE BONUS: This will help you broaden your horizons and perspective and knowledge and overall badassary.

  8. Learn to attach yourself to the money. Results sell not skills. PowerPoints, Microsoft Office, conference tables, and sexy stats oh my!

  9. Get your elevator pitch ROCK SOLID- like 3 beers in and can still get it out smooth kinda rock solid.

  10. Volunteer/Donate: Give, give, give and give some more… then go back and ask how you can do even more. Your resume is thin and needs real meat on the bones. I average 400+ hours a year of volunteer/donated service.  Pssst this helps ya beef up that network too. Free tip: One of the BEST PLACES TO MEET PEOPLE is workin' the checkin table at a biz event - especially for introverts. Volunteer!

  11. Be able to sell what you bring to the table other than your bullets. Always assume that I have seen a zillion portfolios and class projects just like yours before I get to you. Please, please, please be able to talk about who you are and why you are going to be someone I can trust with my company's money and brand. Why I should pay you to help me talk to my customers and grow my business? Can I depend on you when we are on a deadline or in a crunch? Are you going to be fun to be around and be a good fit for my team? Can I count on you to care about what my company is trying to do? Every hiring manager and business owner I know agrees with this statement, "Hire on attitude and train for the skills that are missing." Ready, set, go.


Some of my favorite people to stalk for inspiration and ideas

Justin Ahrens - Rule29: Hands down one of the most inspirational creatives and all-a-round bad ass mofo in the "Do Work That Matters" space.


James Victore - Author/Creative/Coach: Mans this guy says exactly what I need to hear All. The. Time. He is such a kick in the pants to get off your ass and do what you love. He is a fierce advocate for you to get our of your own way and help your damn self. And to say Yes! To Feck Purfuction. Subscribe to his Patreon, binge his old Burning Question Q & As... get James in your inbox for a regular dose of the juice you need to keep at it.



Sall Hogshead


Sam Harrison


Talking Shrimp



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