Getting started in Fashion
Like most people, Travis “followed the system:” he went to high school, followed by college and then straight into a 9-5 job at an oil and gas company (VP) in Houston, with school loans at his heels.
Travis ended up hating the job and life. He was miserable going into work, but he worked as an up-and-coming fashion model on the side. 3 months into the job, he took his 2 weeks vacation and went to New York to meet with model agencies; he even got an offer! After delving more into the industry, Travis declined that offer and instead took on a more risky path.
He quit his job and started working for Antonio Centeno, where he managed all the content for RealMenRealStyle. Travis went from a modelling agency to knew nothing about digital marketing to learn from one of its masters.
Travis led to building an online business where he shot styles and posted them on Instagram; it soon gained traction and grew into something he never imagined - to be the Unkept Gentleman it is today, helping men worldwide look and feel better.
Starting Unkept Gentleman
After working with Antonio Centeno for a couple of years, Travis was actually “kicked out of the nest” to build his own brand, and that was the push he needed. It created this urgency to create something. He reflected on his passions and talents - what he was good at and what he could give back.
The one thing that Travis kept coming back to was his Instagram growth, and he could teach people to grow their own personal brand on Instagram. And that was the first niche that he gravitated towards.
The idea turned into a success; many people were interested and got hooked on his personal view. That soon grew to his youtube channel and his Instagram Masterclass course.
Building the Personal Branding consulting business
After a 2 minute conversation with Gary V on what kind of consulting business he should have, Travis started his own consulting company on Personal Branding based on the high touch (1x1) model.
Now he has a free course on how to do personal branding by oneself AND a ‘done for you service.’ Often the people who want to grow on Instagram don’t have the time to handle their accounts actively; that’s where Travis steps in. He handles the account helping the business grow, while businesses focus on the other 80%.
He keeps the video course free because of the conversion with Gary V. People want that one on one coaching aspect; they don’t want to pay money for a library of videos when they can get them for free. Looking at the number, a third of the people who buy courses don’t even make it through the course.
“It’s not selling information anymore; it’s selling transformation. You have to give them results.”
So the video course doesn’t give results because there is no guarantee they’ll take action on that information. That high touch gives personalization, accountability, and results.
When he helps these businesses, Travis often uses his own experience as a case study, alongside clients he’s replicated his success with.
How would you describe a “Gentleman”?
Travis states that being a gentleman is humbling. We all live in a society that is saturated with selfishness; it’s in everyone. In fact, he would argue that it’s the default mindset for many people.
“It takes work to be selfless.”
It’s like conditioning; when you put effort into acting like a gentleman, you train your mind to help others; whether it’s something small like opening the door for someone, practicing manners at a guest’s dinner, or even offering your coat.
“It takes the mind away from helping yourself to serving others.”
The role of fashion in building confidence
The answer to this is two-fold. The first part of it is the mental transformation; Enclothed Cognition talks about the symbolism of clothes worn and their meaning. Travis states that everyone has a certain symbolism that they attach to an item, and it’s different for everyone. For example, it could be dry-fit clothing for a personal trainer, and for a lawyer, it could be a fitted suit.
“It does wonders for your mental game when you dress the part - Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.”
The second part is passive value - first impressions. No matter how hard or how much we try to convince ourselves, we all take first impressions seriously, as they give them and receive them.
Travis states that we tend to go back to our basic mode of decisions - fight or flight. When we look at a person for the first time, we often ask, “can we trust this person? Are they competent?” This was based on a study by Amy Cuddy, an award-winning Harvard lecturer.
Therefore, fashion is twofold - “It’s for yourself and the people around you.”