Tampa-based designer who specializes in brand refreshes and rebrands. Mark Omlor redesigns brand identities via contract work and monthly retainers. Focusing in the tech and manufacturing sectors, he gives companies the confidence to further excel in their business.
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Table of Contents
We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Mark Omlor: I‘m Mark, and I’ve lived in Tampa, Florida for almost 4 years.
I’m designer and I specialize in brand refreshes and rebrands. This is the core of my business, which I currently run as a solo operation. When I’m not working on branding projects, I’m producing design content on social media – LinkedIn especially. I pride myself on being a strong creative resource to just about everyone I interact with.
2020 and 2021 threw a lot of curve balls into business on a global scale. Based on the experience gleaned in the past couple years, how can businesses thrive in 2022? What lessons have you learned?
Mark Omlor: I’ve learned that versatility and adaptability are the only ways forward.
You see this a lot in the way that people are presenting content to their audiences. There’s nothing wrong with providing a branded experience, but don’t be afraid of sharing unbranded content as well. You don’t always have to show up in a buttoned-up, refined manner. Allow your brand to be human, it resonates well with others.
Don’t be afraid to be personable either.
If the lack of human interaction in 2020 taught us anything, it’s that people still value genuine conversation. Your primary goal shouldn’t be the sale – start off by being likable first.
A lot of companies offer the same products and services, take every measure you can to distinguish yourself in a positive way.
The pandemic seems to keep on disrupting the economy, what should businesses focus on in 2022? What advice would you share?
Mark Omlor: The smart thing to do would be to nurture your existing base.
These are your advocates; your loyal customers who are willing and ready to either buy from you again or send referrals your way.
Continue to stay tapped into beliefs and life situations. A smart company is one that evolves with its customer base. If that means adjusting your brand identity or your brand story in order to continue resonating with them, so be it.
You can’t lose sight of the people they helped get you this far in business.
How has the pandemic changed your industry and how have you adapted?
Mark Omlor: Ironically enough, I think the pandemic forced all of us to become better communicators.
Prior to 2020, most designer content was just projects and portfolio pieces. You didn’t see too much educational content out there, outside of agencies already geared towards teaching about design.
The two simplest objectives of contact creation or to either inform or to entertain. As this became more apparent, us designers began to look within to see what important insight we could share with the digital world.
It’s no longer enough to prove that you’re good at what you do.
Now, you must also prove to others why your work matters.
What advice do you wish you received when the pandemic started and what do you intend on improving in 2022?
Mark Omlor: I would say that the heart of any successful personal brand is community building.
Building an audience isn’t just about sending a bunch of connection requests and direct messages. It’s about bridging the knowledge gap between you and your desired clients. It’s about being willing to give away a little insight for free. When you do these things, you form a group of like-minded individuals you can feed off of.
It’s a force multiplier; you increase one another’s visibility, and in turn you increase the likelihood of being seen by your next potential client.
Make your daily actions about the people you’re trying to serve.
Understand their interests, their struggles, and their aspirations. This level of empathy makes your brand memorable and top-of-mind to anyone who is ready to invest in services like yours.
Online business surged higher than ever, B2B, B2C, online shopping, virtual meetings, remote work, Zoom medical consultations, what are your expectations for 2022?
Mark Omlor: I definitely think it’s going be a surge towards user generated content (UGC) moving forward.
It all ties back to the human experience that I touched on earlier. People want to see your products and services in action, but in a way that doesn’t feel staged. User generated content allows brands to maintain their digital presence in a way that feels more organic. When you show up with this more organic presence, you become more relatable and people are more compelled to gravitate towards you.
How many hours a day do you spend in front of a screen?
Mark Omlor: Usually between 4 and 6.
I pride myself on efficiency, so anything more than that feels wasteful. It’s a test of productivity, we don’t need nearly as many hours to get our work done as we think we do.
The majority of executives use stories to persuade and communicate in the workplace. Can you share with our readers examples of how you implement that in your business to communicate effectively with your team?
Mark Omlor: While I don’t have employees of my own, I definitely use storytelling with the people I know I network with.
The most effective way I do this is to draw comparisons between branding and every day items.
Whether it be boxing, burgers, haircuts, suits, racecars, or diamonds, I have found ways to translate my knowledge into something anyone can easily understand.
And that’s what storytelling comes down to; communicating the magnitude of your value in a way that people can resonate with.
Business is all about overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities for growth. What do you see as the real challenge right now?
Mark Omlor: Strengthening visibility will always be the main challenge.
The pandemic shifted a lot of focus to digital world. As a result, we are seeing a lot of brands and content vying for everyone’s attention.
You always want to have a strong, shareable message, but you also want to know how to effectively distribute that message on any given platform. Different social media channels mean different algorithms and different forms of content will determine how great your reach will be.
There’s a lot of moving parts to consider when developing your social media marketing strategy, but it’s much less frustrating than getting lost in the crowd .
In 2022, what are you most interested in learning about? Crypto, NFTs, online marketing, or any other skill sets? Please share your motivations.
Mark Omlor: There’s a lot of ins and outs of online marketing that I’m interested in learning about.
I find myself surrounded by many brilliant marketing minds, they’re people I work with a lot.
When we share our insight, we only make ourselves better at our own jobs.
A record 4.4 million Americans left their jobs in September in 2021, accelerating a trend that has become known as the Great Resignation. 47% of people plan to leave their job during 2022. Most are leaving because of their boss or their company culture. 82% of people feel unheard, undervalued and misunderstood in the workplace. Do you think leaders see the data and think “that’s not me – I’m not that boss they don’t want to work for? What changes do you think need to happen?
Mark Omlor: In the workplace, people want to feel valued and respected, plain and simple.
They want a reason to believe that their extra efforts will actually be rewarded. The last two years have been challenging for most people. The last thing employees need is to have their self worth challenged as well.
Resolving this disconnect happens on a case-by-case basis though. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to the Great Resignation. It requires a lot of walking within and tough conversations.
Be open to hearing your employees out in a welcoming manner. Leading with empathy is the first step to creating a stronger company culture.
On a lighter note, if you had the ability to pick any business superpower, what would it be and how would you put it into practice?
Mark Omlor: Potential clients are divided into 3 categories: Pain Aware, Problem Aware, and Solution-Seeking.
These categories represent different stages in the buyers cycle.
I think would be cool to be able to see a person’s category in some sort of augmented reality style. It’s easy to identify and appeal to the solution seekers; they’re the easiest sell in just about every industry.
If I had the ability to plainly see if people are in the other two categories, without any research into their situation, they could be converted into Solution Seekers much more quickly.
Earlier along you are in the spire cycle, the last aware you are of potential options for solutions. With the business superpower I just described, one could market to the Pain Aware people as easily as you can market the Solution Seekers.
What does “success” in 2022 mean to you? It could be on a personal or business level, please share your vision.
Mark Omlor: To me, success in 2022 means taking big steps forward.
A lot of us have experienced stunted growth in the last two years. Plans, aspirations, expectations, they’ve all done their fair share of shifting around.
Instead of a “dream life”, I’ve championed the idea of a “dream criteria.”
A “dream life” is absolute: black or white, yes or no, achieved or not achieved. It’s not something you can deeply enjoy if it’s only halfway complete.
With a dream criteria, you have more flexibility.
Rather than one package deal of factors, you have a list of independently attainable factors. A dream criteria can be satisfied through a dozen different ways, which means you have more opportunities to live an energizing life. You can extract maximum value from your achievements, no matter how many you have to show for yourself.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Mark Omlor for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Mark Omlor or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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