Episode #20

Episode 20:The one with Andy “Video Boss” Jenkins

  • How to monetize your creativity
  • How the democratization of information is changing Internet marketing
  • How to build empathy into your communication
  • 3 essential steps your videos must have
  • How to break the 4th wall with your customer and get better results, authenticity and trust

Dean: I’m Dean Jackson; he’s Joe Polish, and this is the I Love Marketing podcast. Hey, everybody, it’s Dean Jackson.

Joe: And Joe Polish, but Joe Polish with a cold right now, so I’m going to sound a little weird today but deal with it, because we’ve got the eloquence of Dean Jackson and our very special guest a guy by the name of Andy Jenkins. So, Andy, you’re on cell phone which is really unbelievable that you would show up on the I Love Marketing show on a cell phone, but you’re a very special guy. And you know the kind of stuff that’s going to help our listeners make a boatload of money and give them some good strategy, so we’re going to forgive you just this once. So how are you?

Andy: I’m great and just let me apologize right up front, not only am I on a cell phone, I’m on an AT&T powered iPhone, so there’s a good chance that we’ll drop this call 37 times. But I swear I know exactly how to pick up exactly where we left off, so it’s going to be great. It will be a little staccato kind of a like a really bad piano recital piece. But I’m here for you guys, and thank you, thank you honestly for allowing me to show up with this inferior technology and not having a landline.

Dean: It’s not 1980.

Andy: Yes.

Joe: But what’s kind of funny about that is you are known as one of the best and most sophisticated in video marketing guys out there but you also have a really extensive background in video. And in the film industry and I just want to ask you to kind of give us a thumbnail sketch of who is Andy Jenkins? I mean where did you start with and where are you now and so our listeners have a good idea of who you are?

Dean: And why they should not listen after the next 37 seconds of the explanation.

Andy: Thank you for giving me this forum to talk about myself in the most uplifting way possible. I will give you guys the short version. So when I was seven years old – when I was seven years old my father took me to see Star Wars, and I was the second person in line on opening day of Star Wars in Brighton, Michigan, beautiful Brighton Michigan. At the conclusion of watching that movie, I had pretty much defined what it is my life is all about. It was trying to figure whether the force is real and at some point building a life saver and if that didn’t work out, which it didn’t, I was going to go and work in the feature film business. That essentially was like the genesis of what drove me in every bit of education that I did every time I ever got arrested; it was because I was in pursuit of that and ultimately what happened is that it managed to enthuse it’s way into two careers. So I’ll just give you again the short version. We’ll jump ahead.

So from seven to about older, I’m getting out of college. So I went to NYU film, which is very quiet there and a lot of whole foods and Birkenstocks and liberal media, it was awesome, really enjoyed it. And at the conclusion of NYU I got out of NYU and I started working at the Guiding Light, which is a soap opera and so that was very congruent with my personality, and it was a great time. As my career evolved, I decided that I really liked editing. I really liked putting all the stuff together. That’s the direction I headed. I learned how to be an editor and it was a really interesting time because I got out of school in 92 and about that time, the whole concept of visual editing where you could ditch tie something that was shot on film or tape. And then work with it in what’s called in a non-leader fashion where you could jump about and put stuff over here from over here, you never had to cut anything or glue anything together, it was really a revolution. I got to work on the very first one called an Edit Drawing at NYU.

So as this career of mine progresses, I finally start to realize my dream, and I get into the feature filmmaking business. I was starting at the bottom, entry-level and I sort of worked my way up until I got to a point where I could actually edit a film. And was working on this slasher film and it was just awesome; it had Corbin Bernstein and Dean Wallace Stone who was the mum in ET and a bunch of scantily clad teenagers who essentially ran around and had sex and get killed. Really high art cinema. During one scene which unfortunately got cut out of the film because the guy just wasn’t able to pull it off, we found him; he was a 7/11 ad model. So just again we’re maintaining the high standard of art for B movies pressures. The production designer who is the guy who is in charge of the look and feel of the film, he’s holding this big giant sword which is how this kid was going to die; he was going to get his head chopped off. I walked into that, and all of a sudden I was assailed by this nostalgic dungeons and dragons memories, because I used to play that wholeheartedly as a kid and I said, Norm that is just that is cool, that’s a great sword.

Now the thing you have to understand about low budget films is everybody sort of pulls a bunch of different ways, and wears a bunch of different hats, so I was the lucky guy that got to do what’s called props returns, where I drove this sword back to the prop house. So I get to the prop house and hand over all the props, and I hand over the sword last, and man this is so cool, do you guys like have any more of these? I’m thinking maybe I can I don’t know rap on and play with it I don’t know what I was thinking. He looks at me with a side long glance, and he takes me into this room that is reminiscent of the end shot of Raiders of the Lost Ark where they are pushing the arc of the covenant in that shipping box into this giant warehouse – it’s like a warehouse.

And lo and behold there are several stories and racks of roman armor, and I learnt later that this was called lorica segmentata and they had roman armor and helmets and shields and swords and all this cool stuff and he’s like yes, see what we got here. I’m like why do you have this? It turns up; they’d just done propping, on a discovery channel, miniseries about the rise and fall of Rome. What are you going to do with this? He goes, eventually, we’re going to have to get rid of it. I’m like would you allow me to sell this stuff on a consignment basis? Yes, dude, we’ll even ship it to your customers. All right, so I went on to eBay, and that lasted about two days, and I just hated it, and I started an E-commerce store, and once I started this E-commerce store it was like a little $50 monkey outfit store, I proceeded to do hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales. Essentially sold out the prop house and then what did I do? I went to another prop house and sold them out of all of their remnant replica weaponry and essentially kind of went through the country selling out these prop houses of stuff that they wanted to get rid of.

I was kind of getting nervous and eventually found a company that imported replica weaponry from India and was going to let me drop ship it; meaning that I would send them the name and address of the customer and the order. And they would send it to the customer, and I will just pay wholesale and charge the customer retail. So this is about in 1998/99 when I’d been in my movie and TV film career for about eight years, seven years somewhere around there, and I was getting burnt out. I’d worked for NFL films, I worked on a couple of shows that Emmy’s for editing and was getting a great day rate, but I was just getting burnt out. And so I said, you know what I want to do, I really want to try to rediscover this creative thing that really made the whole dream of when I went to see Star Wars as a kid, because what had happened is that it turned into a job.

So I started internet marketing. I started selling swords and armor, replica swords and armor online. When Lord of the Rings hit, I started selling Lord of the Rings swords, and we were ranked, my store was ranked number one in Google for Lord of the Rings swords, back in the day. I opened up a tapestry store that sold wall hanging tapestries; we had tapestries that were $40 and tapestries that were $2000; a sports collectable store and just was having a great time. Until I actually become involved with this company as a partner and a producer and the company’s name is Haxan Films, and nobody has ever heard of Haxan Films, but that back in 1999 Haxan Films did a small independent feature film called the Blear Witch Project. I think you can understand how that was a sea change in priorities for me, and so began to sort of say well look I literally my stores have made seven figures in that year of build up and they were consistent.

And frankly, the only time we never made a sale was on 9/11 in 2001, and I think those two things are consistent with that set up, I’m going to try to see if I can’t get back into the film business. So I came back into the film business with the guys, and I discovered something supremely awesome about coming back into the film business the way that I did. I was no longer a labourer. I came back in as the best employee title ever, investor. So now I was associate producer, executive producer, post-production supervisor, editor, whatever I wanted to be, but I was also investor which said I didn’t have to do anything. I really started to enjoy that side of things and then in about 2005 YouTube came up, and I looked at that sidelong, and I said, you know I bet you that there’s something to this. I want to make sure that I’m going to be the guy or at least one of the guys that is an enabler in terms of education for people that recognize that when the transition of video, let’s just call it video.

You can call it a lot of different things you can call it multimedia, whatever, but when the transition of video makes it into the mainstream online, I want to be there when that happens. So I did and that’s what I do mostly now. Although, right now I straddle both worlds; I just finished creating a feature film, then with my partners at Haxan and we’re just on development of another feature film, and in the meantime over in the internet marketing space, I’ve done distance learning and doing distance learning and actually getting set to present an education, called the video boss, on what I’ve learned as a feature film maker and an internet marketer selling real products and information products to other people and show people sort of the things that I do as a feature film maker in order to do that. So that is in a nutshell, and probably what we get left, six minutes left now?

Joe: Yes, exactly.

Dean: Just listening to you tell that, there’s so many lessons in that as I was listening to it, and one of the things that we always like to talk about are kind of the inflecting points, the times where you made a decision, and it changed the direction or a lesson that you learned or an ah-ha you had. And I think that when you were in the prop house for that first time, and you had the foresight to ask the guy could I sell these for you? Is that opened up a whole another direction for you didn’t it?

Andy: Absolutely did and look I always think that life is just a bizarre twisting of gears and strange happenings and if you think about how absolutely unprepared but supremely prepared I was for that to happen, it really makes it special. I was unprepared for that to happen because I’d never sold anything in my life, never.

Dean: What made you think to even ask?

Andy: Because I loved dungeons and dragons when I was a kid, and dungeons and dragons was the thing that inspired my imagination. And so when I would get suspended for truancy from school, it’s not because I was out hiding behind the dumpster drinking a 40, it was because I had borrowed a video camera from a buddy. And I got my other buddies to cut school with me, and we would go out and make the most ridiculous films that we possibly could. So at the end of the day, I had dungeons and dragons, and wow that’s so cool. And it’s kind of like this, I don’t want to call it like the same male testosterone drawing power that makes people by Ferraris when they turn 40 years old, but it was a 27-year-old kid going man that’s the coolest thing I really think that’s cool. Look at what they have, all of this, and there was just something that came out of my mouth that said, let me sell all this stuff for you. Because and thinking back on it, I think what I wanted to do is actually own it all for myself. But I couldn’t see any way to afford that.

Back let’s call it 98 I was pretty well paid as an editor, I was just at six figures a year as an editor, and that was good money, but still, it wasn’t enough for me to go buy a piece of Roman armor indiscriminately which cost $395. At some point I had just this vision of someday walking into a house that was just stuffed with cool medieval armor stuff, I loved, it, I loved it was a passionate thing for me. As a result, I loved that you call it an inflection, because an inflection generally means that you’re hitting something at an oblique angle and ricocheting off it in a different direction, even if it’s only slightly different. Well, this turned out to be an extraordinarily inflection for me. It was really a deflection.

Joe: I wondered Andy, because you obviously picked up on the fact that in spite of this desire to do art be it video, be it whatever sort of creative thing is going on in your brain you also combined it with marketing and with entrepreneurialism. And the whole term starving artist comes from the fact that they don’t know how to generate money with that which they want to do with creativity. But you’ve actually learned how to take your creativity into the use the buzz word, monetize you’ve learned how to monetize it, you started that off early on because you have the ability to see the opportunity. And I think that’s one of the characteristics of just great entrepreneurs and great marketers, is they see where the money is at.

Dean: Yes, I think that is absolutely true. I think for an artist though, and I think at some level all entrepreneurs are really dyed in the wool artists, that just want to be able to create; whether it’s content let’s use that really tired lexicon whether it’s content or service or commentary or opinion. They definitely want to be somebody that creates something as part of their milieu of things that they do as an entrepreneur.

Dean: That was a good one right.

Joe: That’s the first, that word has appeared on I Love Marketing. So we’re all historians, so to all our historians paying attention that’s the first appearance of the word ‘milieu’.

Andy: Yes, let the shenanigans begin. So at the end of the day, all I’m saying is that as an entrepreneur we’re creative people and I think ultimately for me I was just as attracted to be able to create something in the process of this marketing as it was. Here is the thing that always meant the most for me. Here’s the thing when I would have fears or doubts would wake me up with a reoccurring dream. It was liberation. It was the liberation of not having to and boy this is really going in a human potentials direction, but let’s go with it, not having to perform to how culture says that you have to earn a living. So what that means is that look, part of my job is to give myself mental white space just to walk away from the things that are administrative. Or the things that are commoditized stuff that I have to do in order to keep the business afloat I walk away from that, and I enter this white space and that allows my brain to just function. That’s really where the creative stuff comes from.

So I think it’s very difficult to get that when you are working in an environment that I think we all typically refer to as corporate America with why the value proposition of the oral eye per person, is so low. I mean you get one person, and they give you 100 oral eye, they give you 100 percent of that value, and you get two people and all of a sudden only a little bit more is done so each person is now giving you 60 –percent. I just think that as an entrepreneur if you allow for yourself to have that creative white space you just get better at your job which means that your business grows.

Joe: Andy, did you have any E-commerce experience when you offered to sell these props?

Andy: None.

Joe: But there’s the thing, I mean I think the thing that I got out of that is that you used the momentum of something that you were really excited about. You were passionate about this prop stuff, and you had to use that to then figure out the stuff that you needed to figure out to sell anything online. It doesn’t matter what you were selling you still had to go through the moods of how to set up your yahoo store or how to sell something on eBay and that was very valuable because you were able to parlay that into selling other things.

Andy: Let me tell you the good and the bad of that. For people that are entrepreneurs the two or three people that are listening to this call, besides you guys, I think that there was a great deal of upside and a great deal of downside, that today is all upside. So the downside was back in 1999 there was no such thing really as Google. So if I wanted to find a shopping cart, I had to use the yahoo search engine, which was just chock full of goodness even back then. Now I’m probably going off the reservation here when I’m talking about search engine quality; I actually ended up meeting somebody that taught search engine optimization in the later years of my internet marketing career. But at that time if you were to go and try and find an E-commerce shopping cart, the starting rate was at $5000 for a custom installation. If you go and search in Google today for shopping cart or e-commerce software, you can throw a dart, and you can start for free if you want to, and it is essentially about as easy as operating your microwave oven.

So the bad side was I had to spend a lot of time waiting for innovation to occur so that I could deploy this thing, do this thing. The upside for me was I spent so much time in this pioneering area, not that I was a pioneer. But really the internet as a whole was beginning to pioneer what it was going to become at that time, that I got to see things develop that people who are getting online today, last year, five years ago, didn’t get to see and so that was an upside that eventually allowed me to teach this stuff, because I understand it’s origin story. I understand why nowadays the E-commerce engines, the shopping carts, search and shop organization, video marketing, YouTube, why all of those things are critical, important components to slam together to get critical mass on success and marketing. The downside was I did have to figure that out.

Now here’s the advantage for people today and again I have to make this a soapbox rah rah call, but none of that is a problem anymore. In fact, there was no information even back in the days for someone to tell me I couldn’t find a search engine optimization eBook, click bank, what? There was no such thing as click bank which is the largest repository of EBook information now. Like I said, Wikipedia no such thing as Wikipedia so nowadays you want to learn something, you’re literally a search, phrase entry and a couple of pages of research away from understanding how to start. And then when it comes to wanting to get good at it, you’re a product away, you’re a $37 EBook or $100 multimedia series or a $2000 coaching program where people lead you by the hand through it. It is really at this point; you don’t have to think about that anymore. Which is really a boon for the entrepreneur and the artist inside the entrepreneur to decide, all right, well look the standard of entry, the barrier of technology anymore, is non-existent. I get to concentrate and focus on doing what I do in order to market my products.

I think that’s why even here, depending on the day and who you talk to, people will say that the gold rush and online marketing is over. I have never been in a position the last 11 years of doing this to not say I can’t wait for the next evolution because it’s just going to broaden and expand horizons. The people that I know in this market that are successful and do not think that the sky is falling every single time, the feds regulate something or something changes and becomes mainstream, or the networks or the big retailers get involved, every single year the business grows. Because they understand I think at this point since we’re talking about the democratization of communications and commerce which the internet really is, the industry and the people that control it, are the same people that use it. So they get to shift it towards their own evil shenanigans, desires, and their schemery which is essentially how it has worked in the past, but now, the barrier of entry is just so low that everybody can play. As you probably understand this, in 2011 more content was created than all of recorded history before that combined.

So if you think about, not all the content is good, I wouldn’t necessarily suggest that Twitter needs to be catalogued for the ages so that when the aliens come in as a species that’s the first thing that they see. But at the end of the day, between Twitter and Facebook and now these portals that people engage on their own terms, and blogging and news and the proliferation of people starting businesses online and YouTube, more content has been created just in a year, than all of human history. That has a net effect of that content creation in itself guides how people want to interact when it comes time to make a sale. So I guess this is a roundabout way of saying for me, the old ways of just creating offers and sales and all of the other things that we associate with on the brick and mortar retail level where you walk in, and somebody is there to greet you, and there is some sort of incentive. That stuff is really becoming the dinosaur.

Nowadays that’s not the incentive for people to take action when it comes for them to decide to purchase a product. I think it’s about distinction marketing. I think it’s about personality marketing. I think it’s about connecting with your audience and your potential clients and customers in a way that you couldn’t do literally five years ago without spending a fortune. Now I could turn on my iPhone and it would probably crash the call. But I could turn it on and I could make a video of myself, speaking a message, walking through my house talking to people; I could have that up on YouTube and I could have that all done in five minutes from now and reach a potential audience of millions. Where else can you do that? Simply the fact that I can now be in that person’s home talking to them directly or speaking to them while I have some sort of slide up, I think it’s just a profound opportunity.

Joe: Well the fact that Andy, literally I could get my iPhone and push face time and be talking with you face to face on your iPhone in the Mahiya, and it’s just like you couldn’t even imagine that.

Andy: Yes, Star Wars didn’t even think to imagine.

Joe: Hold on a minute Andy, you are cutting out like crazy, so you need to fix that young man.

Andy: I’m cutting out how can that be?

Joe: Yes, your phone is skipping and cutting out on everything, and I’m just here to serve our listeners with good phone calling. So go ahead, you were seeing, I mean I like the path you’re going down, you can be on face time, you can be talking, there’s all this access to technology, and it’s unbelievable. I’m really enjoying just sitting back with my call today, not having to ask a lot of questions as Andy just goes off and just explains his philosophies and prospective on this. But I totally agree, I always love that line, you can make excuses, or you can make money, but you can’t do both. So part of this I think is just coming at it, are you playing not to lose or are you playing to win, and taking that approach, and it seems Andy that’s kind of the prospective in the mindset that you operate from instead of seeing all of the obstacles. You just see a ton of opportunities that are available to everyone that never existed even just a few years ago, let alone in some cases, two days ago.

Dean: You know what it is it feels like Andy that now it’s that the technical friction has been removed from the creative people getting their message out. In the past what you were saying, what you had to go through as you were a creative person and you were curious enough and diligent enough that you had to figure out the technical stuff to get to express your creativity and now in 2011 it’s really there’s zero friction. No matter how advanced all the delivery devices get, and the iPads and the iPhones and all of those things, it really comes down to digital literacy. I mean all of that cool stuff really comes down to video and audio and text and pictures. Those are the only things that are in that recipe. There is zero friction in getting those out. I mean you can put a combination of all of those on a word press blog and not have to know anything technical to do that.

Andy: You could have a television station; you could have a television station which broadcasts, literally if you wanted to, 24 hours a day from a $400 piece of software and a bunch of little flip cameras around your house and let me just give you a little bit of perspective look, I want to absolutely give people some technical advice as well, but my last employed job where I was a staff member for somebody else, I worked on a piece of software, hardware combination called, a smoke. A smoke was a digital finishing station where essentially the television commercials would come in, and my job was to do special effects and animation and cut them together and just make it look like they would eventually appear on the air.

Now keep in mind this was all standard definition. This wasn’t even high definition. Well that smoke that was hosted on silicon graphics an SGI computer which some people may recognize that name, that suite was a million dollars worth of hardware and software. In my $37 book bag, my backpack is a $2000 Mac Pro which can do essentially everything that that smoke suite did and on a piece of software that costs about $600. Now just think about the differentiation between the two there, and I get to say that because I was the guy that has worked both sides of that. But if I didn’t want to spend anything except the hardware that I already have, the laptop that I already have, I can edit now in high definition, which you couldn’t do back in the day, you couldn’t do in 2003. I can edit in high definition on iMovie or a pin piece of pinnacle software from Sony for $99. A nice night out or a decent, I’m sorry you wouldn’t get out the door in Mahiya for $99 but somewhere in like Mississippi you could probably do real well on that, no offence to anybody listening in Mississippi.

But the bottom line is you’re right; there are no excuses anymore. Here’s the thing that I realized early on which I think is 100 percent responsible for me having any success at all is that there are certain leverage points in all of our skill sets and our personalities that allow us to achieve some things that maybe our competitors or other people in the marketplace cannot. We are all gifted with these great things, and my gift was I really loved to tell stories. So while you could put up a blog and write copy and you can send out email marketing, and you can do direct response email, et cetera, et cetera, the thing that I wanted to do the most was tell stories. So you naturally gravitate towards the medium that you have the most comfort with. It just so happens that that medium now is the most powerful connection medium in the world.

So obviously you guys can tell I’m a big advocate of being able to connect with your audience in a way that allows you to demonstrate you. I mean we could talk about Apple and Apple’s success all day long. But the fact of the matter, is there are very few people that don’t associate Apple with Steve Jobs. And this is one of the reasons why they’re the most valuable brand in the world right now, is because they not only have a recognizable brand but they have a human that everybody can relate to, love him or hate him. They have this great double, right it’s a two-headed dragon, brand and person and whatever you want to say about Microsoft, guess what, Bill Gates was still a part of that brand recognition of that company. For a long, long time they were the most valuable brand in the world.

If you’re into internet marketing like I am you know who the founders of Google are and you get that, you understand that, and that’s because those guys made a cognizant decision very early on, that customers like to do business with other people. Not with the nameless, faceless, try to call an airline and book a ticket and get sucked into automated voice response hell. Well, basically at this point everybody is trained to say, operator, operator, operator, as soon as they type, because they usually do it on the phone and it’s not easy to operate a touchpad. I haven’t known what my – what do they call it? A ticket number, the tracking number or whatever the hell that number is they associate with your order, I’ve never known what that is.

So I want to reach a person and so do customers, and I think whether you’re really, really comfortable interacting with customers, or not comfortable with interacting with customers, you have to make an effort to reach out to them, on a one to one basis. And I get this all the time from clients who never want to be in front of a video camera. I hate it too, I hate it too, and so that’s why I use like Microsoft power point or Apple keynotes to make slide presentations so I can still communicate my message, not worry about how I look. I talk into a microphone, I try to be emphatic, I rehearse my stuff, but the message still gets through to those folks. So at the end of the day I think it’s about creating the kind of connections that small businesses and entrepreneurs like us can. Where the big companies can’t do it because it’s a scale problem. It’s beyond scope and then the smart people understand that you just need a hero. Frankly for a lot of people Steve Jobs is a hero. Does that make sense?

Dean: Yes, absolutely.

Joe: I don’t think any of that made any sense at all, actually.

Andy: Would you want me – I’ll try to answer that again.

Joe: No, no, I’m kidding. That was great. Let me ask you, Andy, about people that are listening right now, and they’ve heard all of what you just said. They want to make more money they want to sell their stuff; they want a package; they want to position it; there are certain things that you just delegate and hire and there’s other things that you do not. And one of my favorite sayings is there’s two things you should never delegate in business until you actually understand them so well if you ever do, that you truly can delegate them and the two things you should never delegate are marketing and the check book unless you absolutely have a handle on it.

So in the case of making video, you’re not just a guy that knows how to put this stuff together, but you also you say storytelling, however, it’s messaging. It is knowing what to communicate; how to communicate it in a compelling way; and who to communicate it to. You’re very much a direct response guy, so everything that you do is designed to not only get your communication out there but elicit a response. So out of all the stuff that is available for people at a very low price that is totally accessible, much of it, it’s like open source – we’ve got a video coming out on marketing with Matt Mullenweg the founder of WordPress; a gigantic open source; tons of free software sort of company. What are the things that you think would be essential for the listeners – our clients, your clients, what should they absolutely learn and not attempt to delegate or abdicate or sweep under the rug and not pay attention to because they don’t think it’s as important, or they don’t want to learn how to write copy or speak in front of a camera or learn to powerpoint? What are the essential things that someone really needs to know?

Andy: I think you’ve said it and I don’t want to necessarily punt on the question because I think I do have a good way to articulate this. But it’s the creation of the message and the story is the most important thing that you can ever learn. Video making, the technical process is commoditized. We’ve arrived at, it used to be a speciality, and it used to be brain surgeon specialty. Like I said that room that was full of a million dollars worth of equipment, it wasn’t just a box with the software, it had all kinds of supporting mechanisms, materials and technicians, hired specifically to maintain that stuff. So any more like I said, walk around with my laptop, and a little flip camera and a headset microphone and I have a video production studio, with me, that I can make high definition videos with great sound and put those out there to the world be it internet, wireless connection, in Star Box. But one thing that becomes all that is worthless if you don’t know how to communicate your market.

So here’s – let me just give you an example of how you can communicate the difference between video and let’s just say direct response marketing via text. So let’s just say that I go and test drive a new car and it’s a nice car. We’ll call if a Ferrari. I come back to you guys, and you say, so how was the test drive? I go, man, that car is powered by a rocket. It’s unbelievable, it corners like it’s on rails, drives like on a cloud and it’s just got this stereo which is just so amazingly gangster. Now that’s not necessarily the way that I talk depending on how much I’ve had to drink, but ultimately it’s not a far cry from a decision or a conversation that we ever had with anybody about anything that we’re excited about. Like food, how many- oh that meal, oh that pizza, they’ve got the best – how many times have you ever heard that that was the best meal ever from a friend in a conversation?

Joe: A few.

Andy: So at the end of the day how come we’re willing to accept that message from our friend, but the minute that we see that on a piece of paper like a sales letter, we go whatever, hype. We run from that thing. We delete, we block it in our browser. It’s because of something called empathy. It’s because people who are searching for like-minded people or solutions to their problems, have the same degree of passion about solving their problems as you do about doing something awesome and fun that you’ve always wanted to do. Now I’m not suggesting that you can turn on a video camera or a microphone and record the words awesome and every other single hyperbole word that you could and have success. But the bottom line is it’s one of the only mediums where you can be passionate about something and that passion comes across on so many different levels with so many different sense, that you can actually engage people. It’s also I think that is a dirty little secret of video. That’s the upside, that’s the advantage is that all you need to do is be authentic about how you feel about something and people that will resonant with people.

So imagine people on this call who have their business; you started that business with a passion; it’s a minor miracle that you did, that you didn’t just stay in whatever job that you decided that you do. Think about the gumption and the decision; you struggling with anxiety of whether or not you can do this. You finally decided to do it and the thing that keeps you going is the passion about what you’re doing because you believe in it. Now all of a sudden there’s a medium where the technical side is commoditized where all you have to do, literally, all you have to do is talk about the reasons why you think it’s important and people will get it. It doesn’t require copy skills. It doesn’t require you to understand the role and linguistic programming, whatever the hell it’s called. It doesn’t require those things. It requires you to be genuine and to think that if you’re in business to help other people which is really the only way to create any kind of success, at least in the long term, that you genuinely believe in what it is that you do.

So we’ve been hiding until video became something that we could all access we’ve been hiding, and we’ve been trying to leverage other mediums like text or inbound sales calls; a phone room; outside salespeople; we’ve been trying to fit our message, yellow page ads, and television commercials which are prohibitively expensive and we couldn’t be ourselves there because it just wasn’t cost effective. Now we can. YouTube is free, stuff is amazing, plays on mobile devices and you can turn on that flip camera which you can get for $80 and in high definition, look at the camera like that’s one of your most skeptical customers and give them the good news about why, what it is that you do, is going to help them solve pain or increase the pleasure. It seems to me like it’s a lot easier than the 15 steps and you guys are amazing copywriters, we both know that most people think there’s between 14 and 16 steps that you have to include when you write a sales letter. Right, so well in video there’s three. There’s the hook, which is why you should watch this video. Why should you watch this video? It’s not even why your product is good. You get to say this is why I want you to watch this video, because by the time you’re done with it I’m going to teach you how to correct that golf slice that you have. That’s a pretty compelling hook for somebody that’s looking how to correct their golf slice. There’s the path, the path that they have to walk on to achieve that result.

So we’re going to walk down this path and when it comes to the golf slice, for example, let’s say that that’s how we address the ball, the way that our hands grip the club, how far forward or backwards the ball is in our stance, the way that our body follows through when we take the swing; so that’s the path of correction and then the persuasion. The persuasion is simply if you want to know more I have this thing that can do this even better – here’s what you do. Okay so those are the three things. We’re in the sales letter we have – I mean I have to do – I haven’t written a sales letter in forever, but I still have this piece of software called Evernote, which keeps track of all my stuff. I got those 15, 16 components in my Evernotes somewhere where I guess at this point they’re collecting digital dust, but yes, it’s three versus 15 and here’s the one thing that if you ever spoke at a seminar, been to a seminar or whatever, and you ask the attendees at that seminar, hey do you really believe in what you’re doing? Do you think that your business is great? Do you think that what you’re offering customers is good? Almost universally everybody’s hands goes up. That’s great because you’ve just qualified to be somebody that can be a video marketer if you believe that.

Joe: I love it, you know go ahead, Dean.

Dean: I was just going to say, so you think videos are a good thing?

Joe: Yes, I’m in the same boat, I’m a little unclear of what I think I’m hearing from you here is that we should probably think about using video?

Andy: You know you guys.

Joe: That is funny. So look that was truly fantastic, and I hope everyone listening on I Love Marketing is kind of getting it and it really – you are the video boss so how do people – what do you recommend to shorten the learning curve? I mean we’ve only got a few minutes left here, but you’ve spent years learning what it is you know, you hang out with and have consulted on and been directly responsible for some of the biggest internet marketing campaigns and launches in the IM history and you kind of know how to figure this stuff out. So what advice would you give for I Love Marketing listeners and anyone listening that wants to be a Ninja and be super effective at this?

Andy: I think one of the great pieces of news I have for you, is that about 95 percent of what you need if you’ve got a computer that is a year or newer younger, you already have it. Whether it’s Microsoft, powerpoint or keynote my first video I did I did with a USB headset microphone that I got from Target for about $35. In fact, you mentioned that I’d done some big internet marketing product launches, the first launch that I ever did which did eight figures of sales in 24 hours, I did that with a 30 day trial of power point, and this was Microsoft power point 2005 I did it with a 30 day trial of a piece of software for PC called Camtasia and that Target microphone. So here’s the good thing, I mean software again is a commodity you can using trial software figure or not whether or not you’re cut out for this, without really risking anything other than the time it takes for you to sit down and say, what’s my hook; what’s my path; and how am I going to persuade them to take the next step where I can give them more value. One of the things, and look I’m not a pitcher, like I said, I can’t really sell anything to save my butt, but I am passionate about what I do and I’m doing a next evolution, I think video has come a long way, and I think there’s another evolution for video and that evolution is called breaking the fourth law.

So I know that we’re short on time, I’m going to keep you guys and Joe if you need to pass out, go ahead, but I think it is important. This is important; think about when you go to a movie theatre; so on the front wall which is wall number one, there’s the screen. On the side walls, walls two and number three, are the speakers. It’s a part of the surround sound. Also the people are next to you. On the back wall is where the projector lives and so the projector is the origin of what you’re seeing on the screen. Here’s something that I’ve not struggled with, I’ve struggled to help other people understand and when they get it, it’s the most liberating thing ever. No one expects you if you’re not doing video, let’s just say that your career is not about video marketing, or selling video products, or video editing, or creating video software, so that basically eliminates, one, one-thousandth of a percent of all the other things people do in terms of their business. If you’re not doing that nobody expects you to be really unbelievably awesome at it, they don’t expect Hollywood quality; they don’t expect feature film quality from you. Take a look at YouTube; there are days that YouTube which has a billion videos, gets more searches, visits than Google does, which is the top search engine. It’s Google vacillates between the number one and number two website in the world. How many professional videos are on there? Here’s my point.

On that fourth wall, the fourth wall is where it gets made. That’s where you create the sausage. I think that and I’ve experimented with to great success, that when you are making video and you decide to break that fourth wall with your customer and bring them into the actual video making process you actually get better results when there is more authenticity, and they actually are willing to trust that what you’re saying is worth a second listen to because you’ve just exposed them to your process. So when you take them around with the camera, when the person on camera says, hey you know what I’m just going to tell the camera to zoom right here so you can see this. When you say, I’m sorry, about that, I just smacked the microphone. When you actually, it’s called in theatre, break character. You guys familiar with the term?

Joe: Yes.

Andy: Where the actor on stage decides that I just can’t say this line anymore I have to laugh, or I forgot my line; if you break character in the context of a marketing video where you’re trying to keep your relationship it works really well. So I actually just I’m doing a vast and very risky experiment, it’s the riskiest thing I’ve ever done online. I’m not known for being controversial, so that’s not necessarily a weak statement. I’ve decided that I’m going to make fun of the internet marketing industry. I’m going to tell the internet marketing industry that they need to stop taking themselves seriously because I think that the business is at a point now where it’s time for authenticity to rule the day, not slick sales and copywriting skills.

So I have a product coming out called the Video Boss it’s actual name is the Video Boss Now Even Bossier and I’m experimenting with creating a video where I break the fourth law and bring the viewer along with me for a very bumpy ride and what it’s like to think about video in the terms of the way that I think about video. So if anybody wants to see it it’s free on the back end of that video are three other videos that teach you exactly how to write a script; exactly what software to use; how to use the software; and actually how to promote your videos; where to host them; how to get search engine backlinks; so they can link well in Google, and it’s all free, and if you go to thevideoboss.com you’ll see what I’m talking about. So I invite everybody to come over and take a look.

Dean: That’s a really interesting concept when you talk about that, letting almost really acknowledging that you don’t have to be like a professional television show and I think that that’s probably one of the things that most small business owners would struggle with. With thinking well, I’ve got to; it’s got to be perfect. But what would you say to like a small, local business owner who wants to use video about that context of breaking the fourth law? How would somebody in a bricks and mortar normal business kind of use that approach?

Andy: Yes, sure, so you guys have done one with the one with Gary Vaynerchuk, or do you only talk smack about him?

Joe: No, we interviewed him.

Dean: Yes, we did cool.

Andy: So like Kingston or Gary, does Gary remind you of Stone Phillips? He has this amazing personality, but it would be cool to go back into his archives and take a look at what his first show looked like. I mean I’m sure that it had all of the flaws, faults and foibles that all of them have before they decide, wow this could really work and then all of a sudden people notice if you go back into the archives of some people’s online video evolution. When you first see them they are kind of greasy and flat, and their shirts are rumpled, and then after they’ve said wow this really works, the lighting gets better; the cameras get better; they’re ironed and pressed; they’ve showered; their hair is combed. It’s just really interesting that everybody thinks that when they see somebody that is very compelling online, that they have to immediately be this person. I’m telling you the same reasons that you have a favorite restaurant, a favorite automotive repair; a favorite dry cleaner; a favorite coffee house, it’s because of the people that you meet when you walk in through that front door. Guess what, when you go and order a latte at Starbuck’s they don’t go well thank you so much for ordering our coffee, do you understand how important this coffee is, it is loaded with entire – they don’t do that; they say, hey, dude, will it be the usual today because they know who you are.

So my advice to answer your question Dean is to just be what you be when a customer comes a calling. Make sure that they understand what’s new and improved. Make sure they understand what it’s going to be like to work with them; something that I call the ownership experience and I think the ownership experience is the most vital part of being putting somebody on the path to making the decision. The ownership experience is essentially this is what it will be like for you to use the thing that I sell. So it’s some people might call it the assumptive close; but you’re not selling, you’re teaching. You’re having; you’re sharing an experience, right an empathetic experience.

So again I’ll give you guys a funny little thing, before I got any good at expressing what I wanted to express on video, I used to go, and I’ve been through a dozen of these things because I’d get angry or kick the desk and then fall over. I used to go to a store called Pier One Imports. For the longest time, Pier One used to sell these glass heads, that’s the only way I can describe it. I think you turn them upside down and they were hollow, and you could use them as a bowl if you want. But they were glass heads, about the same size and shape of a human head. Bald, and they were like $20 and I because I would get so lost and I’d start talking to my audience like I was talking to a million people instead of one person who was sitting at home on the other side of that screen. I would get this glass head, and I would talk to it, and I would pretend it was my best friend. That was a huge inflection point for me Dean, because I recognized that in order to be a distinctive marketer, to stand out today, you can’t have a one size fits all message. You have to talk to a person. We have to talk to the person that is in the most pain and can benefit the most. We cannot be a friend to all. We cannot try to solve all the world’s problems.

Collectively as a culture we will eventually do that if we get our shit together, but as a marketer, your job is to identify the person that could most benefit from them and is in the most pain because they don’t have what it is that you have. If you talk to that person like your best friend you make an impact and I, think that that should be very easy to do for anybody that runs a brick and mortar concern or a local business, because they have made a living and made their bones and grown the company by reputation anyway. Because it is a local thing. Does that make sense?

Dean: It really does.

Joe: Can you start that one again. You know it’s funny because I actually have five of those glass heads at my office. They are really important, and now I’m going to make videos at home and start talking to them all the time, and I have Bernie man hats that I put out because those are the.

Dean: That’s where he keeps his fancy hat collection.

Joe: Yes, Bernie man used to have a free shop.

Dean: He produces the hat.

Joe: All right Dean, we’re at time. Andy, this was fantastic, thank you. The website again for people to watch the videos?

Andy: It’s www.thevideoboss.com.

Joe: The last thing I’ll say I just was at an event and I saw Guy Kawasaki speak, he used to be the marketing evangelist of Apple or whatever, chief marketing evangelist, whatever title he had when he was working with Steve Jobs. And he was talking about video on YouTube, and how they’re uploading 35 hours of video on YouTube right now per minute and how Justin Beaver in the movie Never Say Never, he said, no matter what your opinion is of Justin Beaver. You will learn so much about marketing by watching how hard that kid works and that in the last year 51 percent of all music sales, were Justin Beaver and that started on video and it started with YouTube. And there are gigantic applications of this if you just have a small business, like I do with many of my carpet upholstery cleaners that use videos for testimonials and education based marketing to putting your face on it, to doing video sales letters.

I just did a presentation at Deanne Kennedy and Bill Glaser’s event in front of 1200 people, and I played a video making my offer at the end. There was not any – I was not on the video, it was literally someone else’s voice in total text; just a voice and it was the highest close of the Glaser Kennedy history is what his team told me, 500 people got up and stood in line to get my stuff. We had so many people standing in line that we literally lost a couple of hundred people because they thought they would miss out on the offer. But the point is I played a video and video has so many applications, and you’re the man, and I hope everyone listening to this really takes what you shared today. Seriously Andy, we really appreciate you sharing your knowledge, and we recommend that all of our I Love Marketing listeners go over and check out Andy’s videos, because you will learn a lot of stuff. Dean, I’ll leave the last thing up to you guys to finish it off, and I’m sorry I have a cold today because I know I sound like crap.

Dean: There you go I couldn’t have said that better, that’s the thing, don’t be afraid go ahead and try it and Andy is going to have some good advice for us, so Andy thank you so much.

Andy: It was really my pleasure guys, thanks for letting me pontificate and setting my soapbox on fire and go to town.

Dean: Absolutely, thanks, Andy.

Joe: Thanks, everyone give us your comments on ilovemarketing.com.  

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