Episode #10 – Matt & Phil Letten: The Vegan Bros on How To Build a Personality Brand Online (and love your haters)
“Take a breath for a second, and think about when you weren’t vegan – and then think about everyone else and how they have the possibility to change.”
“When mainstream America and the mainstream world looks at us, they know us as these vegans who are just f**king normal.”
WARNING: Before you hit play, know that this interview contains some strong language. Definitely outside PG-13 territory.
If your social media feed algorithms know to bring you vegan updates, you’ve probably come across their posts or videos before. Often with a bottle nearby and very often with a title just asking to be clicked. And at first glance, they do seem like a couple of guys who enjoy swearing and stirring sh*t up.
That being said, Matt and Phil Letten, better known as the Vegan Bros, aren’t nearly as foul-mouthed in person as they come across online. But maybe that’s because we spoke in the middle of the day, over Skype, and not later in the evening over a bottle of liquid inspiration, as they like to refer to alcohol. They did loosen up pretty fast, but if you expect this episode to be a swearfest, you’re in for a surprise. I know I was, because once we started talking, I quickly realized there’s more to them than meets the eye or the not-so-sensitive ear.
Did you know, for instance, that Matt’s goal for 2016 is to read 100 books, or that Phil crossed the country 9 times as a spokesman for various vegan nonprofits? But that was before an epic rooftop party gave birth to the idea of starting an online brand built around showing how veganism is becoming so mainstream it’s being promoted by the guys pumping iron next to you at the gym (both bros are personal trainers), whom you’d sooner expect to yell BACON! at the mention of the word vegan.
Matt actually admits to being that particular kind of person way back… but then again, so was I. Their biggest takeaway here is that anyone can change, which makes up a large part of their message, and occasionally puts them at odds with the vegan community, like when they published a video about why you shouldn’t ask if your beer is vegan or not.
The thing is, for the path they’re showing, this message is spot on. Matt and Phil are 100% certain that the world will turn vegan sooner or later and they want people to get there by making things as simple as possible. Plus they don’t let the negative feedback pull them down – just the opposite. And that right there is another big takeaway for anyone considering a personality brand: sooner or later, you’ll get people who don’t agree with you. And that can be a good thing.
So if you want to know how exactly The Vegan Bros brand was built and how it evolved from a vegan fat-loss course to multiple streams of income, including t-shirts, publishing and business consulting (including Matt and Phil’s message for all vegan entrepreneurs), this is the episode for you. I’m just sorry I couldn’t get much out of them about their upcoming book, but I’m sure it will be *insert favorite expletive* epic!
The Vegan Bros: Main website
Get a ‘Vodka Is Vegan’ t-shirt here: Vegan Bros Swag
Recent post we talked about: Get The Lukewarm Motherf**kers Out Of Your Life
NOTE: The fat loss course opens periodically and there is no link to the business consulting offer on the page yet – best way to keep up to date is to join Matt & Phil’s email list. They’re pretty cool at not sending out too many emails.
In the UK? You can catch up with the bros here: Vegan Camp-Out 2017
The movie that got Matt on board with veganism: Death On a Factory Farm
Followed by: Meet Your Meat
Non-profits where Phil has worked
Finally, sources of inspiration other than alcohol:
*This is an affiliate link – purchasing through it won’t cost you extra, but I’ll receive a small percentage of the sale, which I’ll gratefully use to create more great content for this site.
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