In the dynamic world of online media, there’s an insatiable appetite for new content, new means of reaching people and an ever-evolving arms race of style. In the ‘good old days’, you’d drive a message through a catchy jingle or a commercial that evokes emotion. Today the landscape has changed.

Rather than use content as bait to lure and pounce when the opportune moment arises, content is utilised as a stratagem in relationship building with your audience.

Which brings us to the pointy end of the sword and reason we are both here.

I sat down with Huynh Nguyen to delve into the inner workings of his digital content solution business, Emperor. Reputable for its use of dramatic imagery and flair, I’m eager to discover what makes Emperor so definitive and unique.

Firstly, the name Emperor strikes a line. My initial impression was prestige, royalty, power.

However, Huynh was quick to illustrate that there’s more to the name than a first impression.

“Two days before the launch party for the business we still had no name. Emperor just came to me. It came from the control of what we do, leadership ownership of the empire. Not prestige as you might think, the focus is on small/medium business and helping them start their own empire. If you’re a small business we want you to compete with the big dogs. Much like how we have, so we know it’s possible.”

Emperor has grown sustainably over the past few years without ever getting too big for its boots. If the toes touch the end, the capacity grows until now with a multidisciplinary team of content solution professionals who specialise in the complete package.

“Branding isn’t just an icon, it’s an attitude. How you’re perceived, even how you talk on the phone, I try to teach clients that from the start. We don’t work toward prestige, we just want them to relate and grow as Emperor has.

The Motto: A to Z not A to B. We build with them, for the long journey.

We make sure they know how sales work so when we generate leads and business, they can take it from there. We offer a lot of value to our clients, so not only are they attracting business, but finalising business to grow.”

Huynh gives the impression that relationship building is paramount to the core beliefs in Emperor.

“We will work with anyone, we try and do it well and teach them more than they realise they’re getting and they come back. It grows that relationship. We do have core clients and they’ve been with us for 7-8 years.  They trust us.”

Trust. The foundation of any good relationship and something invaluable to creatives. Trust in them, trust in their ability and trust in the process.

“I don’t mind finishing training, having dinner and then doing artwork for them. It’s not just a service but a relationship, because without them I wouldn’t be where I am.  A lot of those guys still refer me, purely from that experience and I’m more than grateful.”

Organically, the conversation moves to one of the clients he has shared his journey within former UFC fighter and current RIZIN mixed martial artist – Damien ‘Beatdown’ Brown. Not the type of artist you’d expect reading a blog about online content solutions.

“Damien Brown was one of the first athletes to buy fight photos from me years ago and never questioned price or had any issues, and now we completed the whole branding and marketing for his whole gym.”

A massive job and even greater honour. The branding of an establishment that is someone’s livelihood is no small feat, but Huynh is up to the task.

“I’m the go-to guy in terms of media in fight related content and my vision is becoming the standard. The community helped me grow my confidence, the way people talk about me it’s really humbling. Even on Facebook, I’ll get tagged as a recommendation for jobs people need doing because they trust me.”

Again, the theme of trust rears its head and Huynh builds on the theme.

Huynh trusts in the process which in turn breeds a culture of trust within Emperor. The ability to have faith in his team carries over to symbiotic acts of confidence and belief Emperor shares with its clients.

Everyone gets a piece of responsibility within Emperor and shares it during the process. The utmost confidence in one’s team leaves room for a growing relationship for all.

With the application of one’s art, again and again, comes competence and confidence in the process. For himself and eventually the martial arts community.

Clients simply trust Emperor because the end product is of a standard that exceeds expectations. But how did such a standard come to be?

Turns out it was not an overnight process.

“I’m 29 now and I started when I was 18 and I have always stood by doing things right by people. I did a lot of work for free and grind away doing several different jobs just to get experience and I think that’s important.”

Huynh also had an inclination to be part of the martial arts community in Queensland, which stemmed from an early age introduction to the iconic Bruce Lee.

“He’s Asian, I wanna be like him!”

We share a laugh but there’s something genuine about this and without further ado, the lines are coloured in.

“I didn’t know what the UFC was at the time so I googled and it brought me to Anderson Silva and I was amazed. I love the human body and what we’re capable of, so to see someone move like it’s a choreographed fight is insane. Once I saw that I knew it was what I needed to do. I went to my first class at Fightcross and passed out after the warm up!”

Huynh jumped into the fire and put his initiative and skills from his recently graduated degree in IT and Graphic Design to the test. His affinity or learning is evident in his philosophy on training in the workplace.

After just 3 months Huynh had his first fight against soon to be multiple time Australian MMA champion Tim ‘Quickdraw’ Moore.

“I had my second fight on a show called ‘Nitro MMA’ and started working with Scott Ferris the original owner and that’s what got me into working with his nightclubs. I’ve done some cool things and met some UFC fighters. When they had the media day at Chris Haseman’s gym, I ‘met’ Mighty Mouse.”

To the uninitiated, Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson is possibly the most celebrated Mixed Martial Artist by diehard fans and the greatest flyweight ever in terms of domination and skill. It might not sound like much to the layman or woman but getting to meet people of this calibre, especially fairly early into your martial arts journey, can be a full tank of gas on the fire of inspiration.

“I didn’t even know who it was! I thought ”he’s so tiny, he can’t be a fighter”, this was before the flyweight division existed. I had this little niche with the fight scene but I got to brush shoulders with Michael Bisping and Frank Mir.”

Both celebrated UFC champions. Bisping brought the UK to the map in terms of credibility and popularity and Frank Mir was using the often thought of “little guy” Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as a “big guy” on his way to capturing 2 world titles.

As far as the company you keep goes, not too shabby.  

“I was regularly producing good quality photos by someone who understood the sport. Even if my understanding was basic at the time, I knew what to watch for in a fight.  People soon realised I was someone worth following and through that, I got connected with Fight News Australia who I did a couple of UFC events with them. FIGHT! Magazine commissioned me to do profile shoots of martial artists around Queensland.”

Huynh’s grinding attitude struck a chord with martial artists who gravitated toward his dramatic style of understanding the glory and pain in mixed martial arts competition. This led to a reputation for quality art synonymous with his name.

“There’s a handful of guys who opened their own gym or went to the UFC, I have worked with at some point and I have some pride that I held a high standard whether they wanted design work or photos in general.

Huynh’s application to work started putting rubber to road and mixed his abilities into a cocktail of passion, resulting in a new standard of fight art in south-east Queensland. One of the more historically endearing pieces of art and fight culture is the “fight poster”, accompanying the hype of an impending fight and encapsulates the gravitas of the fight to come.

Huynh worked with Ross Cameron’s Aftershock MMA promotion as the next logical step in his ascension with definitive and sharp art.

“I take some pride that I did create a standard to the creative part in martial arts in Queensland and I dare say Australia. I can confidently say Aftershock was an amateur promotion but I made sure the quality of work we put out that people would think we were some multimillion-dollar production.  The only reason I did that is because I love the sport. I talk to a lot of older guys who used to fight and they all say ‘I wish we had photos and video from back then”.

“So, I started doing it for free to grow and I think I helped people to grow their own profile. As for the art, I could have done any fight poster, but I have some pride in the work. I always wanted to push the boundaries with the art.”

Expression in art sometimes comes with detractors, especially something as coveted as fight art in a historically dense culture.

“Sometimes it didn’t mesh with people, but the truth is if I’m not getting paid a lot, I’m going to do it how I want. It was a blessing in disguise in a way because I did cool stuff, and people recognised it. Some people don’t understand the commitment to these types of posters, I get proper photos and assets but people think I sit behind a computer for an hour and it’s done. Maybe I’ve had to get photoshoots from New Zealand sent or drive around to locations.

Newer promotions spend the money on advertising but they have graphic designers who don’t understand how to create consistency. With Emperor, I can create the most beautiful art you’ve ever seen, but if someone sends me a photo from a bad camera, it’s going to be bad. Having a commitment to my artwork and quality of work it carries through to the company and to the guys that work.”

Again, the standard of work trickles down from the output in art in the past to the ongoing application of Emperor and it’s employees.

“I know that in 12 months my guys are still going to be there and we are going to be on another level.”

I have to agree that the type of sustainable growth Huynh has invested in Emperor is a sturdy trunk with more fruit to come in the near future.

“Emperor is going to be that marketing team you never knew you could have. There’s a team of people. When you look at a business you’ve got one marketing guy that does everything and he’s okay, but not great at anything.”

The high standard of quality work has created a snowball of ongoing momentum for Emperor with Huynh in the driver’s seat.  Emperor might be labelled a content solution business, however, I’ve learned that this doesn’t do justice the amount of dedication to the artistic process and investment in people Huynh makes a distinct priority for.

For a total solution to represent your business digitally, think Emperor as you build your empire.